HELENA, Ala. (AP) – At least five people are reported injured after what’s being described as an explosion in rural Alabama.
Details are sketchy, but video from area media shows a huge plume of flame and smoke rising in what appears to be a wooded area in Shelby County southwest of Birmingham. It’s unclear what exploded, but gas lines run through the area.
Helena police say they’re assisting Shelby County authorities with a pipeline fire.
Several fire departments are sending crews to assist, and media reports say at least five people were hurt and headed to a hospital.
A pipeline leaked thousands of gallons of gas southwest of Birmingham near Helena, but there’s no immediate indication of a connection between the leak and the fire.
FROM 3:30PM: HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — A massive plume of smoke is filling the skyline after a major gas line has exploded in Helena.
Fire units are headed to the scene, according to McAdory Fire Station #2.
The explosion took place near 334 Highway 13. At this time, a response team has been called in from Jefferson County as well as a tanker from the McAdory Fire Department.
The gas explosion appears to be massive. There is an evacuation in effect for a three mile radius.
UAB has received five patients associated with the explosion, but at this time, there is no word on their condition.
Helena police are stating that there was an explosion in the Shelby County Jurisdiction, and that no Helena residents are in danger.
Travel is not being impacted to students who get dropped off on County Road 13, according to the transportation director with Shelby County schools.