A farmer tilling his field in the Annaville area struck an underground gas pipeline, leading to a call for local residents to shelter in place as emergency personnel attempted to locate the owner of the pipeline.

Corpus Christi Fire Department and Annaville Volunteer Fire Department personnel surrounded the field, located off the intersection of McKenzie Road and State Highway 44. The pipeline burst shortly after 1 p.m. CCFD HAZMAT Captain Keith Terry said firefighters were sent to the site in self contained breathing apparatuses to monitor the gas discharge.

“We don't know yet what it is and we're not sure whose pipeline it is at this time,” Terry said. “It is either natural gas or liquid petroleum. A number of companies in the area have switched off their valves, and we've seen the amount of gas coming out dissipate.”

Terry said downwind monitoring equipment set up after the break showed no explosive gas readings for the McKenzie Road area. Since the gas itself was headed to local plants at this point and not to consumers, the gas had yet to be odorized, which made it impossible for residents and emergency personnel to detect by smell, Terry said.

After three hours, the order to shelter in place for residents and local businesses was lifted, but traffic was still blocked off on the south side of McKenzie Road and the State Highway 44 access road heading west. Representatives from several piplinepipeline companies in the Coastal Bend were on site to speak with CCFD officials. As of Thursday afternoon, the owner of the damaged pipeline had yet to be established. An update to this story will be found in the July 14 issue of The Nueces County Record Star.