MILFORD — Officials in Milford said residents may have to wait as long as 36 hours before they can return home after a gas pipeline explosion Thursday morning south of the city in Ellis County.
The explosion occurred just after 9:30 a.m. at a drilling site near FM 308 in a rural area. Officials said the crew working on the rig was able to escape and there were no injuries.
Officials said Milford will remain evacuated for a 24 hour period that could extend to a 36-hour period.
According to Milford volunteer fire Chief Mark Jackson, the explosion happened when a 10-inch pipe was broken. The drilling rig was completely engulfed in flames and large plumes of thick black smoke filled the sky. Several vehicles at the site were destroyed in the blaze.
The line was closed off and crews waited for the fire to burn itself out.
Jackson said about 200 students in the Milford Independent School District were evacuated to the gym of Italy High School, called "The Dome."
Officials closed off numerous roads as they waited for the fire to burn out.
Milford is located about 14 miles northeast of Hillsboro.
The Red Cross also created a shelter at Italy High School for residents forced to evacuate.