One man was killed Tuesday by a natural gas pipeline explosion in Rusk County, East Texas, officials with the sheriff’s office said.

Spokesman for the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. David Roberts, said the explosion occurred around 5 p.m. in the Pine Hill community near Rusk CR 366 and FM 1798.

“We do have one fatality,” Roberts said. “He was working on a mulching machine, and, unfortunately, he hit a pipeline and it blew.”

Roberts said the name of the person who died is being withheld, pending notification of family.

“We arrived at about 7:15 p.m. but they had to shut everything down and make sure the gas had dissipated before we could get down to it,” he said. “The one good thing about this was it was a very desolate area with very few homes within a mile of the explosion.”

Several residents in the area were evacuated after the explosion.

The evacuation order had been lifted by late Tuesday night.

Traffic remained closed on FM 1798 from FM 840 to FM 2687.



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