Kemp, TX Butane Blast Kills Two, Aug 1996


Kemp, Texas (AP) - Firefighters continued their watch Sunday over a liquid butane blaze that killed two teen-agers who died while trying to warn authorities of a leak in the fuel's pipeline.
As the pickup truck carrying DANIELLE SMALLEY and JASON STONE, both 17, passed through fumes from the leaking gas, the vehicle exploded Saturday afternoon, killing them both and triggering the inferno.
The Koch Industries owned pipeline, which runs from Medford, Okla., to Mont Belvieu, Texas, just east of Houston, was immediately shut off and residual gas continued to burn.
The fire shrunk considerably Sunday, but still could be seen about two miles away, said Lola Simon, a cashier at the Scurry Stop & Shop, just east of the pipeline fire near FM 148.
"The fire's going a little bit," said Simon, a senior at Scurry-Rosser High School, where she knew SMALLEY.
"She was a smart student and a good actress and she got along with everybody," Simon said.
SMALLEY'S father Daniel Smalley sent his daughter and STONE off to report a gas leak around 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Kaufman County Sheriff Robert Harris said.
As they left the house in a pickup truck, the vehicle's ignition apparently sparked gas that had settled in a low spot nearby, officials said.
One home was destroyed in the rupture, which occurred near where the pipeline crosses FM 148. Flames
reaching dozens of feet and a column of black smoke could be seen for miles.
The explosion occurred near Lively, about nine miles southwest of Kemp, in a subdivision with about 16 homes that house as many as 60 people, many of them children. Kemp, a small town of slightly more than 1,200 people, is about 46 miles southeast of Dallas.

The Facts Clute Texas 1996-08-26