YAZOO COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mayor of Satartia has confirmed that all evacuated families in Yazoo County affected by a large gas leak have been given the all clear to return home.
This after a 24-inch high-pressure pipeline containing carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide burst and over 222 barrels escaped into the air.
More than 300 people were evacuated and 46 were hospitalized. All first responders treated for their injuries at area hospitals have now been released.
All those who were hospitalized are expected to be okay.
MEMA assisted the Yazoo County Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality worked to determine if the area was safe for residents to return home.
Environmental Specialists conducted air quality tests to ensure no gas was lingering in low-lying areas.
Residents in the area at the time of the gas leak complained of green gas and a noxious odor. Some experienced shortness of breath.
The company who owns the pipe, Denbury Onshore, was contacted and the pipe was shut off.
They released the following statement:
“At approximately 7pm on Saturday, February 22nd, a leak was detected on a carbon dioxide pipeline operated by Denbury Onshore in Yazoo County, MS near the town of Satartia. The affected area of the pipeline was isolated within minutes, and the leak site was evacuated as a precaution. Denbury has been working closely with state and local officials in the response and evacuation efforts to ensure the safety and welfare of the community, its residents and the environment, which is Denbury’s top priority. It is important to note that no injuries have been reported, the area is secure and poses no threat to the public, and local authorities lifted the evacuation at 8am Sunday morning permitting residents to return to their homes. Company and local officials are available to assist residents as they return. The cause of the release is under investigation.”
Through an initial investigation, MEMA reports that the rupture may have been the result of recent weather events.
The ground appeared to have caved into a ravine, damaging the 24-inch pipe.
A 1/2 mile area around Satartia was evacuated and first responders went door-to-door to make sure that everyone had gotten out.
The Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department assisted by Warren County and MHP helped turn drivers around to keep them away from the area.
Warren County and Yazoo County Fire and Rescue also assisted.