Residents in Milford returned home Saturday afternoon for the first time after a natural gas pipeline exploded, but those who live closest to the site spent a third night away from home.
Authorities reduced the evacuation zone around the explosion site from a 1.5-mile radius to a half-mile, said Jo Ann Livingston, spokeswoman for the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department.
Livingston said officials could not say how many people remained affected by the evacuation.
The pipeline, carrying liquefied petroleum, gas exploded Thursday morning near Milford, a town of about 730 people roughly 60 miles southeast of Fort Worth.
A Chevron crew was working at the site when the 10-inch pipeline exploded. Five workers were immediately evacuated, and no injuries were reported.
The blast site is near the intersection of U.S. 77 and Farm Road 308, and the explosion sent a steady stream of thick, black smoke across the sky that was seen as far away as Ennis and Waxahachie.
In a news release Saturday afternoon, Chevron officials said a small residual fire at the site has been isolated. Crews began using flares to eliminate remaining gas in a nearby 14-inch pipeline.
Air quality is being monitored and is within normal ranges, Chevron said.