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Six days after explosion, Alabama pipeline set to resume operations; no sign of gas shortage in Charlotte

The Alabama pipeline that burst into flames last week is expected to come back online Sunday, according to a statement by Helena Colonial Pipeline.

The pipeline exploded Oct. 31, leaving one dead after a worker reversed into the pipeline with a backhoe. Seven other workers were injured.

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It took almost four days to extinguish the flames and remove debris from the site, according to the release.

If the pipeline does become operational Sunday, it will have been six days since operations had been interrupted, only half as long as an earlier leak that created a fuel shortage in the Southeast, including Charlotte.

The previous leak dumped 200,000 to 300,000 gallons of fuel, leading to the shortage in September.  

Fuel prices in Charlotte have remained steady throughout this week.

In a quick response, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order bypassing some state requirements for fuel trucks and bringing in more fuel from other states.

“This waiver will allow for an increase in our gas supply that should not affect the quality or safety of fuel,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said.

Both governors of Alabama and Georgia made similar moves.

Helena Colonial Pipeline was not available for comment at the posting of the article.