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Arkansas Homes Evacuated After Oil Spill From Ruptured Pipeline

10:46 AM, Mar 31, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Mayflower residents speak out after oil spill

Courtesy: KTHV, Scott Crow

Authorities are working to clean up an oil spill in central Arkansas after a pipeline ruptured.

Mayflower Police Chief Robert Satkowski says an ExxonMobil pipeline sprung a leak Friday afternoon in his small city about 20 miles northwest of Little Rock.

Satkowski says the pipeline has since been shut off. The spill forced authorities to evacuate dozens of homes. Oil spilled onto the road and lawns, but it's unclear exactly how much.

"The last 24 hours have been really trying," Ryan Senia, a Mayflower resident ordered to evacuate, told CBS affiliate KTHV-TV in Little Rock on Saturday.

Authorities said as many as 40 homes had to be evacuated Friday afternoon.

Photo Gallery of Neighborhood 

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Brandon Morris initially said oil had reached nearby Lake Conway, but he later said that was incorrect.

ExxonMobil says it's investigating and working with local authorities in clean-up efforts. The company says the breach was in a pipeline that originates in Illinois and carries crude oil to the Texas Gulf Coast.

"Well we could see oil running down the road like a river," Joe Bradley, another Mayflower resident ordered to evacuate, told KTHV.

Bradley said he was unaware of the pipeline and only lives four to five homes down from the rupture. He said he is fearful of the effects on his 8-year-old daughter.

"Is she supposed to ride her bicycle out here playing with kids out here?" Bradley asked.

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