- Associated Press - Monday, October 31, 2016

HELENA, Ala. (AP) - The Latest on a pipeline explosion in Alabama (all times local):

6 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline says in a statement that it has shut down its main pipeline in Alabama after an explosion in a rural part of the state outside Birmingham.

The Georgia-based company said in the brief statement Monday evening that its top priorities are the health and safety of its work crews at the scene and protecting the public.

Authorities say at least seven workers have been injured in the explosion on the gas pipeline.

Gov. Robert Bentley said the explosion happened about a mile west of the spot where the pipeline burst last month. That rupture led to gasoline shortages across the South.

The company’s statement did not address how Monday’s explosion might affect the availability of gasoline and said more information would be released as it becomes available.

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5:30 p.m.

Authorities say at least seven workers have been injured in an explosion on the Colonial Pipeline that sent flames soaring over the forest in a rural part of Alabama.

Gov. Robert Bentley says in a statement that the explosion happened Monday on the Colonial gas pipeline, about a mile west of the spot where it burst last month. That rupture led to gasoline shortages across the South.

Video from area media shows a huge plume of flame and smoke rising in a wooded area in Shelby County southwest of Birmingham.

Bentley told WBRC-TV in a live interview Monday evening that the seven injured workers were taken to Birmingham hospitals by helicopter and ambulance.

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4:45 p.m.

At least five people are reported injured after what’s being described as an explosion in rural Alabama.

Details are sketchy, but video from area media shows a huge plume of flame and smoke rising in what appears to be a wooded area in Shelby County southwest of Birmingham. It’s unclear what exploded, but gas lines run through the area.

Helena police say they’re assisting Shelby County authorities with a pipeline fire.

Several fire departments are sending crews to assist, and media reports say at least five people were hurt and headed to a hospital.

A pipeline leaked thousands of gallons of gas southwest of Birmingham near Helena, but there’s no immediate indication of a connection between the leak and the fire.

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