Cause of Colonial Pipeline Explosion Revealed

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 federal agency that regulates pipelines says contractors were working on repairs stemming from a September leak when gasoline ignited and spread fire to the Colonial pipeline in Alabama.

Colonial Pipeline executive Gerald Beck said a nine-man crew was using a track hoe to excavate the pipeline as part of preparation work so permanent repairs of the September leak could be made. Beck said the track hoe — a large piece of heavy equipment — struck the pipeline, causing the explosion Monday.

At a Tuesday afternoon news conference, Colonial spokesman Bill Barry said one worker was killed, one was treated for injuries at the scene and four others remain hospitalized. He had no updates on their conditions or the severity of their injuries.

Three other workers on the crew escaped injury.

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