HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — State regulators are temporarily shutting down a major pipeline after sinkholes in the Philadelphia suburbs exposed the 8-inch-diameter pipe, threatening nearby homes and a rail line.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says the Public Utility Commission chairwoman ordered an immediate shutdown Wednesday to Sunoco Pipeline's Mariner East 1 system, saying that its continued operation "could have catastrophic results."

The pipeline carries as many as 70,000 barrels of natural gas liquids every day to a company terminal in Marcus Hook.

The sinkholes affecting the pipeline developed within 50 feet of homes and near an Amtrak rail line.

Sunoco will inspect the pipeline and test the ground. Shipments won't be able to resume until investigators sign off. That's expected to take 10 days or more.

The company's spokesman says it's working on a response.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com