The trans-Alaska Pipeline remained shut down Wednesday night after a fire erupted at a pump station near the Arctic Circle, pipeline and state officials said.
No injuries were reported, Michelle Egan, a spokeswoman for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., which operates the 800-mile-long oil pipeline, told NBC station KTUU of Anchorage.
Egan said that the fire hasn't spread but the situation is still too dangerous to send investigators.
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"We're observing the tank to see if that activity slows down," said Egan, who said it had been many years since a fire had shut down the 40-year-old facility, which transports an average of 545,000 barrels of oil — or nearly 23 million gallons — every day.
An employee noticed smoke and flames coming from a pressure vacuum vent about 2:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. ET) at the pipeline's pump station in the Coldfoot area near the Arctic Circle, Egan told KTUU.