A relief valve burst open about 3 a.m. Tuesday, venting natural gas from a line of Eastern Panhandle Pipeline Co. about a mile northeast of Montezuma, the Parke County Sheriff’s Department reports.
No flames were reported as a result of the venting, the sheriff’s department reports.
John Barnett, spokesman for Eastern Panhandle Pipeline Co., contacted Tuesday, said a relief valve was activated about 3 a.m. at the company’s Montezuma pressure station. “The valve closed about a half an hour later when pressure in the line was reduced,” Barnett said.
“The relief valve is built into the pipeline to relieve the pressure in the pipeline when it gets above a certain level. We don’t know what caused the relief valve to activate, but we are investigating it,” Barnett said.
“The relief valve did what it was supposed to do and what it was designed to do,” Barnett said, adding that the company doesn’t release figures on how much gas is dispersed in such incidents.
Parke County resident Thomas G. Morgan said the venting made the loudest sound he’d ever heard. Morgan said the gas line vented for at least two hours.
“It sounded liked like 100 trains going by or like a tornado. That is how much gas was escaping,” Morgan said. “I live in a farmhouse with thick walls and it could not have been louder. I’ve never heard anything like it. It was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“My wife thought it was tornado, but the trees weren’t blowing. Then we figured it out pretty quick. All the fire departments were there, but there was no fire. There was green glow up there.
“It was like the shades of British Petroleum – they could not turn off the gas,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s farmhouse is located a mile from the natural gas line and about 2 miles northeast of Montezuma along County Road 600 West.