- 700 residents of Milford, Texas, had to evacuate after an oil pipeline exploded
- Chevron oil company requested the evacuation as long as the oil is still burning
- The company is concerned about possible dangers to air quality in Milford
- Residents are expected to return home on Saturday
A Texas community near Dallas temporarily became a ghost town, after a nearby pipeline fire, which has been burning for nearly two days, caused it to be evacuated.
Police required all residents of Milford, which has an estimated population of 700, to leave, after the underground pipeline exploded early Thursday, sending up orange flames stories high, said spokesman Malcolm Ward. On Saturday, authorities reduced the evacuation zone around the incident site, and said most residents could return home.
The Chevron oil company asked that the safety measure be taken, the company said in a statement Friday. A jet black plume of smoke has been billowing up towards the clouds. The statement mentioned not wanting to risk exposing residents to possible effects on air quality in Milford.
Workers are trying to stop the fire by emptying the flaming stretch of pipeline 50 miles south of Dallas of the oil left inside. They are setting flares to burn it off.
The company has provided hotel accommodations for affected residents, the statement said. The American Red Cross has also set up a shelter nearby, according to the Sheriff's office.
Milford's residents are expected to return to their homes sometime Saturday, Ward said.