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Texas 811 simulates pipeline explosion to raise safety awareness

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ABILENE, Texas - Texas 811 held a simulated pipeline explosion Friday to show the right way to dig and what happens if you don ' t follow the correct procedure and know where utility lines are buried. "Before you do any excavation, before you plant a tree, before you put up a fence, any type of breaking the ground, you want to dial 811," said Damage Prevention Manager Jose Ortega. Then allow two days for underground lines to be marked. Once those lines are marked, Ortega says it is safe to dig. Texas 811 says first responders need to know how to respond to a pipeline rupture so they are safe. "We have to know first what kind of product it is because there's different fires you have to use different firefighting techniques. Some of that stuff is real dangerous," said Lawn Volunteer Fire Department Harley Sadler.

First responders also attended a Texas 811 class before the simulated pipeline rupture.

These simulated pipeline ruptures are to help prevent explosions and death. Back in September of 2000, a person digging with a bull dozer near Abilene Regional Airport ruptured a liquid gas pipeline.

The blast blew across the highway and hit Abilene Police Detective Jay Hatcher's vehicle, and Hatcher died from his injuries.

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