At around 4:20 a.m. on June 7, many Ohio Valleyans woke up to a shake and the curious sight of an explosion in the distance.
As details were coming in, it was difficult to determine what exactly was going on. One resident even said that it felt like a tornado was coming through the area.
After around an hour of confusion and speculation, the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency revealed that the TransCanada Pipeline on Nixon Ridge had exploded.
“I heard a big boom first, the sky was all lit up back on here,” said Shark Martin, a 25-year resident of Nixon Ridge. “I figured it was a gas line blow or a well went off, so I just went back to bed and listened to it roar.”
For Martin, the explosion was the biggest he’d seen.
Marshall County EMA Director Tom Hart said that he could see the explosion before he was even on the scene.
“From my residence, you could actually hear the roar from Cameron, and you could see the glow in the sky,” he said.
Hundreds of other residents woke up alarmed. The photos and videos we received from viewers spanned across Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It was visible from the interstate, the Ohio Valley Mall and even the Pittsburgh Airport.
The site of the 36-inch natural gas line rupture was under construction. When TransCanada noticed a drop in pressure, they immediately shot off the line and started emergency procedures that they had just practiced days before.
Left behind was just a crater and ten acres of burnt land.
“I’m glad to see them here as far as the economy, but ya know, I’d just like to see them have a little more respect for the locals,” said Shark Martin. “I mean, we have to live here.”
Fortunately, nobody was injured, but Hart said that it was the eighth such rupture in five years.