Photo Courtesy: WLBT-TV
Federal safety inspectors gathered information Thursday at the site of a failed pressure test on a section of a new gas pipeline. Officials said an empty line was being tested using nitrogen. One person was killed and three others were critically injured.
Coroner Billy Allen said 40-year-old James Lee Candler of Sulphur, La., died in the explosion around 4 p.m. Wednesday on a county road just south of Sylvarena in Smith County. The blast occurred on part of the Mid-Continent Express pipeline.
Two of the injured, Rick Lee and Wayne Williams, worked for Grand Bluff Construction Company out of Beckville, Texas. Candler and David Matthews, one of the injured men, worked for Chicago-based Priority Energy. Two had life-threatening injuries and the third was in stable condition after the blast. Officials have not given an update on their conditions.
NTSB spokesman Jeff Lauria said his agency is "monitoring the situation and collecting information." He said he doesn't know if an investigation would be conducted.