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The rupture happened on County Road 3122 near Farm-to-Market Road 1798 around 5 p.m.

A contract worker was cleaning up a right of way over a gas line when it exploded, said Patrick Dooley, deputy emergency management coordinator for Rusk County.

Dooley said the man was on a mower when the explosion happened, but the department had not determined what ignited the gas.

Dooley said the pipeline was on private land and the man was a contract worker, but he could not say what company he worked for. His family had not been notified of his dead as of 9:30 p.m.

After the incident, roadways were closed and nearby residents evacuated as a precaution, he said. As of 9:30 p.m., roads were back open to traffic and residents returned home.

The gas was turned off while investigators worked.

East Side and Church Hill Volunteer Fire Departments were on scene along with Henderson and Rusk County rescue units. Rusk County Emergency Management officials and Champion EMS were also at the scene, Dooley said.