Pipeline test scare sparks panic for neighbors in east Harris County

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A loud noise had residents on edge late Thursday in east Harris County after a pipeline pressure test failed.

Callers into the ABC13 newsroom said it sounded like a loud jet engine rumbling in the sky.

Some neighbors also said they detected a sweet smell in and around their homes.

The pipeline, owned by Targa Resources Company, was full of nitrogen gas and being tested at Miller Road 2 and Wallisville. It failed in several spots, creating the loud noise.

A shelter-in-place was briefly ordered for a 1-mile radius around Moore Road. It was lifted about 10 minutes later.

WATCH: Possible pipeline leak reported in east Harris Co.
EMBED More News Videos

For about 10 minutes, a shelter-in-place was in order for residents near Houston Farms before being called off.



Video sent to ABC13 Eyewitness News from Veronica Leal shows the confusion many residents had as the loud noise seemingly roared all around them.

"Is it a tornado?" a woman asks. "What is that? A gas leak or something?"

There were no flames or explosions, and the gas is non-reactive, meaning there is no danger to the public, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.

But with the industrial accidents in the area lately, some people still don't have peace of mind.

"We were kind of scared because of events lately, the gas leaks and the fire right here in Crosby," said Lauro Leal, who lives nearby. "I come home with my wife, we could heard it, we live three blocks from here."

"I'm still shaking. You don't know what it was, flammable or going to explode," Leal continued. "We're just scared in this area. My wife said maybe we should start thinking to move."

EMBED More News Videos

EYEWITNESS VIDEO: Veronica Leal sent us this footage showing the confusion many residents had as the loud noise seemingly roared all around them.



Follow Katherine Marchand on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.