Shelby County, Ala.—One worker was killed and several more were injured when an Alabama pipeline ruptured sometime during the evening of Monday, October 31.According to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, the failing pipeline caused an explosion that sent flames high above the surrounding tree line.One eye witness, who said he helped an injured worker remove gas from himself before calling an ambulance, said the central Alabama explosion resembled an airplane crash and resulted in towering flames that extended some 300 feet into the air.The epicenter was approximately one mile west of a leak that occurred back in September, releasing thousands of gallons of gasoline and causing shortages and price hikes throughout the entire Southeast.The failed pipeline belongs to the same company behind the previous leak—the Colonial Pipeline Company of Alpharetta, Georgia—and marks the sixth leak its operations have endured this year in Alabama alone.Officials are not certain wether the explosion emanated from the same pipeline that failed in September, and workers have not yet been able to get close enough to the accident site to determine if the initial explosion has damaged any other nearby pipelines.“Three miles around the area of the fire has been evacuated,” Bentley said in a video which his office posted to Vimeo and later tweeted out through his official Twitter account. “We have state resources in place through our forestry association, and we have people there to contain the fire.”The state of Alabama has been suffering from a severe drought. According to the governor, there have been over one thousand fires recorded since the beginning of October.“Our resources have been stretched thin,” Bentley said. “But we will have enough resources in place, we will put enough resources in place, to protect the people in that area.”Coleen Vansant with the Alabama Forestry Commission says that the explosion has sparked several wildfires, one around 10 acres in size and another near 7 acres.According to a brief statement issued by the Colonial Pipeline Company, the main pipeline in the area has been shut down for the time being. The explosion occurred near the Cahaba River, the longest free-flowing river in Alabama known for its scenic value and biological diversity.It comes at a time when pipelines all over the country are being hotly contested by environmentalists. A major protest is taking place near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation because of a proposed pipeline that the Dakota Sioux say is threatening the quality of drinking water drawn from the Missouri River and decimating many of their important cultural heritage sites.The Dakota Access Pipeline is being maintained and constructed by a company called Energy Transfer which, according to its website, operates three major crude oil pipelines, including approximately 500 miles of pipeline that run through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.Energy Transfer claims that the $3.7 billion project will lessen U.S. dependance on foreign oil and create thousands of jobs.Stayed tuned to BlueRidgeOutdoors.com for pipeline updates and learn more about the Shelby County, Alabama pipeline explosion here.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (CMC) – Rookie West Indies white-ball batsman, Brandon King, has set his sights on this year’s Twenty20 World Cup, and is hoping to further impress selectors to ensure he is selected for the showpiece Down Under.The 25-year-old made his international debut last year and has maintained his spot in the side despite failing to register a single half-century in 12 innings across both limited overs formats.But with the T20 World Cup scheduled for October 18 to November 15, King is hoping to make the trip in order to put his talents on show on the global stage.Brandon King.“It [the World Cup] is the biggest opportunity [to showcase talent] because that’s when you have most people watching. I had that goal from last year, trying to make sure I’m selected in that team, and then I’ll take it from there,” the Jamaican told the Observer newspaper here.“In terms of what I’ve done, I think there is a lot of room for improvement. It’s a learning process but you try to learn as quickly as possible.“At the end of the day you get picked to perform, so you don’t get endless opportunities to prove yourself. It’s about learning from your mistakes as fast as you can.”King earned a call-up to West Indies colours after dominating in both the four-day and T20 formats last year.He was the leading scorer in the Caribbean Premier League with 496 runs for losing finalists Guyana Amazon Warriors and also plundered 630 runs for his native Jamaica Scorpions in the domestic first class championship.However, he has struggled at international level, with a highest score of 39 in One-Day Internationals and 43 in T20s, and is targeting another successful CPL in order to remain in the selectors frame.“It’s the nature of sport; current form is very important and I think the selectors will always look to who’s performing [well] closer to the time of a competition,” he pointed out.“From a personal point of view, obviously you want to be in the best form heading into it as well. You want to have full confidence.”The CPL is carded for August 19 to September 26 but its staging is in doubt due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic which has halted cricket globally.West Indies are also due to host South Africa and New Zealand between July and August in Tests and limited overs games but both series are also now in jeopardy, and are likely to deprive King of chances to prove his worth.Though away from the field because of the lockdowns across the Caribbean due to the outbreak, King said he was using the time to work on his fitness and improve technical aspects of his batting.“There are challenges because there are things that you cannot do as you used to but I look at it in a positive way – there are also things you might not have had time to do in a normal situation,” he explained.“[Now] you can focus more on bettering yourself, and fitness-wise you can push yourself in workouts a little bit more than you could during competitions.“You have time to recover, you have time to work on some technical stuff – go back to basics in a sense – and get that really sorted out so that when cricket starts back, you can have a better foundation than when you stopped.”
…but residents say no work done… drainage works reek of corruption – CouncillorsCouncillors at the Soesdyke/Tu Huiste/Coverden Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) are accusing the Chairman and Overseer of collusion when it comes to drainage works in the community, since many of the drains have not been cleared but monies paid.According to the Financial Report circulated at the last statutory meeting on Thursday, the NDC would have expended over $6 million, with some $1.6 million for drainage works. The report explained that the Baksh, Nig-a-Kein, Meertins, Policeman, and Leacock and Jandoo Outfall trenches were cleared for the month of September but upon inspection, it was discovered that very little or no work has been done.The Policeman Outfall trench that was supposedly cleaned in SeptemberCouncillors Dave Singh, Udairam Baijnauth and Vice Chairman Aaron Grant-Stuart all raised objections to the expenditure, but the Chairman refused to entertain their objections. They related that the Chairman informed that all payments were made and that the works were satisfactorily completed.Vice Chairman Grant-Stuart, who also heads the NDC’s Works Committee said he was forced to resign after repeatedly expressing dissatisfaction with the drainage works but being forced to approve them after the Chairman would demand that he sign off.When Guyana Times visited the Soesdyke area on Saturday, residents expressed dissatisfaction with the overall performance of the NDC since they feel very little work is being done despite them paying their rates and taxes.Councillor Dave SinghOne woman living along the Policeman Outfall trench said she moved to that area some 15 years ago and is constantly being forced to endure flooding, due to overgrowth in the trench. She said she would have to clear the section behind her house because the water would become stagnant, resulting in the breeding of a whole host of bugs, as well as carrying a foul smell.“The last time them clean this trench was early part last year (2017) and even before then they does barely clean it. The can never say that them clean this trench here last month because they would be lying. The next thing is that the road is another story. If you know how long [Leslie] Glasgow (NDC chair) said that he will send the man them to weed the road [parapets] and we still waiting here. I tell them already that elections coming up and them won’t come here and expect to get a vote. Them really not doing anything,” the resident lamented.The woman explained that she used to collect $500 from every resident in her neighbourhood so that they could have paid to have the sides of the road weeded but the NDC even refused to aid them in disposing the cut grass, so the residents stopped paying to have it cleaned.“The records are showing that all of the outfalls including the Policeman trench which is the conservancy has already being cleared and paid for and that is not the case. Literally no cleaning was done and we asked and the Chairman insisted that the work has been completed and paid for,” Councillor Singh said.Singh explained that the Policeman Trench serves as the conservancy for the residents of Soesdyke Back area since the water from the highland would roll off into the trench to be drained. He further related when the trenches are clogged, it means the water has nowhere to go which results in flooding.“Now is dry season but wait until December and you will see how high this trench does raise. The water does run on the people land and then it does cause flooding. We are really in a bad position because the Chairman and Overseer just doing what them want to do and even though I have no evidence of them getting a kickback, I want to believe that they are,” he said.The Councillor said the contractors who are being hired to do the work are not from the area, despite them calling for otherwise.“We does pay $347,000 to clean outfall and none is being cleaned. We are paying out money without getting any service. The Chairman and overseer are dictatorial and we are paying money to clean a trench where not even a blade of grass is being touched. I had a talk with the contractor who was supposed to clean the Policeman trench and he does not know where the trench is. He signed for the money and he don’t know,” Singh related.The Councillors said they are at their wits’ end when it comes with dealing with the Chairman and Overseer (Fazila Manna) since they are both unprofessional. They reported that if they raise too many objections, they are banned from speaking at meetings unless they apologise.Vice Chairman Grant-Stuart told Guyana Times that the NDC’s spending is very exorbitant, identifying that they would have spent over $1 million to just lay some stones on the Grant Sand Road and over $270,000 for a galvanised pipe barricade.