Gasoline Spill Forces Rerouting of Olympic Torch Relay
May. 24, 1996
GRAMERCY, La. (AP) _ A oil pipeline burst early today, spewing 310,000 gallons of gasoline into a swamp along the route of the Olympic torch relay and forcing a 15-mile detour.
``We don't want to come through with a flame in an area where we have gasoline,'' said Wayne Winkler, spokesman for the state police.
A Marathon Oil pipeline burst at 2:30 a.m. three miles northwest of Gramercy, which is about halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Cleanup operations have begun.
The torch, which left Los Angeles four weeks ago, is being carried variously by runner, horseback, bicycle, train and other vehicles. The segment rerouted today because of the spill was being covered by motorcycle.
The shift involves a route that uses Interstate 10 for a longer distance instead of a highway near the Mississippi River. It was not expected to delay the timetable.
The torch left Baton Rouge on Day 28 at 7 a.m. on the bluffs above the Mississippi River at Southern University, en route to New Orleans and eventually to the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.