Pipeline Fire

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A law enforcement spokesman says a bulldozer operator was killed Saturday when the machine cut a natural gas pipeline southwest of Cheyenne.

Gerry Luce is spokesman for the Laramie County Sheriff's Department. He says the bulldozer cut the gas pipeline at a rural site about 9 miles from Cheyenne Saturday morning, at about 9:30 AM.

The resulting explosion sent flames hundreds of feet into the air and took firefighters about 45 minutes to bring under control.

Luce identified the bulldozer operator as Bobby Ray Owens, Junior, of Louisiana. Luce says he doesn't know Owens' home town.

Officials say Owens was working for Associated Pipe Line Contractors of Houston.

Helen Wells is spokeswoman for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners in Lakewood, Colorado. She says that the bulldozer operator was performing work associated with the construction of the Rockies Express Pipeline.

Wells says the bulldozer hit an existing pipeline owned by El Paso Corporation that provides natural gas to the Front Range in Colorado.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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