Company Begins Excavating Pipeline After Leak

A group of first responders watch a large plume of smoke near the scene of an explosion of a Colonial Pipeline, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, in Helena, Ala. Colonial Pipeline said in a statement that it has shut down its main pipeline in Alabama after the explosion in a rural part of the state outside Birmingham. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

HELENA, Ala. (AP) — A company says it is excavating the gasoline pipeline that exploded and erupted in flames in Alabama this week.

A statement Thursday from the Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline Co. says “substantial progress” has been made since work began Wednesday night at the rural site southwest of Birmingham.

The company says the remaining small fire will be extinguished and draining operations will continue once preparations are finished.

A large pipeline that transports gasoline from the Gulf Coast to New York City exploded Monday while a crew was making repairs related to a September gas spill. One person was killed

The company has said the pipeline could reopen as early as this weekend, easing worries about gasoline shortages or price increases.

The company says an inspection has shown that a nearby pipeline which carries diesel, jet fuel and other products wasn’t damaged in the explosion.

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