YAZOO COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Nearly 48 hours after a CO2 gas line burst in Yazoo County, things are safe and back to normal.
“Denbury, the company that operates the thing, has paid a crew of environmental specialists that’s come in and the Department of Environmental Quality for the state has come in. They’ve done air monitoring in the area, and they’ve determined it to be safe and normal for everybody to live without a problem,” said Jack Willingham, Yazoo County Emergency Management Director.
It was Saturday night when the pipeline burst near Satartia on Highway 433. Around 300 people were asked to evacuate.
The pipeline was operated by Denbury Onshore in Yazoo County.
“Carbon dioxide will actually shut a vehicle down as it’s going down the road it chokes oxygen out of the vehicle, just like it would choke oxygen out of a person,” said Willingham
While carbon dioxide is everywhere, large amounts in a central location are bad like the event in Satartia.
“You don’t want to go through this amount you know,” he said. “You have to have oxygen to breath not carbon dioxide. So if you’re in a cloud dioxide, it’s going to be basically equivalent of putting a plastic bag over your head or anything that would deprive your body of oxygen.”
Willingham went on to say, “Now once you get it off and you’re clear of it, you’re going to be alright. But while you’re dealing with it or going through it, it’s definitely a problem. And if you were to remain in it for a period of time, it could be fatal.”
There were no fatalities from the gas leak. According to MEMA, the illnesses resulted from hydrogen sulfide exposure.