Colonial's gasoline, distillate lines shut after explosion, fire in Alabama

HELENA, Ala. (Reuters) - Colonial Pipeline Co [COLPI.UL] shut down both of its main gasoline and distillates pipelines on Monday following an explosion and fire in Shelby County, Alabama, the second time the pipeline has been closed in two months. A segment of the pipeline was undergoing maintenance on Monday afternoon when it exploded, resulting in several workers suffering serious injuries, according to the Shelby County sheriff's office. The explosion occurred near Shelby County Highway 13 and River Road, the sheriff's office said, adding the number of those injured is believed to be less than ten., citing local public radio, reported at least seven were severely burned. The fire was still burning as of 7:45 p.m EDT (2345 GMT). The explosion occurred at least a mile from any residential area though a three-mile area around the site has been evacuated, according to local media. Colonial said company personnel and emergency crews were responding to the incident. The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said they were aware of the incident and also had personnel en route to the site. "The explosion is Colonial Pipeline & occurred approx one mile west of the previous incident," Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's office said on Twitter. A Colonial pipeline experienced a spill in Shelby County on Sept. 9, which leaked between 6,000 to 8,000 barrels of gasoline. The pipeline was out of service for more than 12 days following that incident and drove up gasoline prices at the pump in the U.S. Southeast. That gasoline leak was the company's biggest since 1997 and the third-largest among all petroleum products in the last two decades. U.S. gasoline futures jumped as much as 13 percent to $1.6351 per gallon their highest since early June at the open of the futures trading session. The prompt futures spread widened to the highest since Aug. 3. Colonial is a key artery that connects Gulf Coast refineries with markets across the southern and eastern United States, delivering gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products. Colonial has said it was working to remove the bypass line installed after the leak in September and expected to fully restart the damaged part of the fuel artery by mid-November. Colonial Pipeline has had five spills reported in Alabama in 2016 alone, including the one in September, according to PHMSA data. Colonial operates two main pipelines from Houston, Texas to Greensboro, Carolina. Its gasoline line has capacity of about 1.3 million barrels per day. (Reporting by Liz Hampton in Houston and Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; additional reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by G Crosse)