Yes, a pipeline explosion is a serious danger. It affects lives and property. People were injured and buildings were damaged. This is very serious and very troubling. Pipeline explosions should not be tolerated. Companies must do everything in their power to keep gas pipelines safe and prevent explosions from happening.
More than 50% of the nation's oil and gasoline pipelines were installed before 1970. Long before our current safety regulations were in effect. Many are still cast iron pipes as much as a century old. The oil companies have to invest in improving these aging pipes before we have a major disaster.
The major safety factor is for the "water-tight integrity" of the vessel, which helps prevent sinking due to a hull breach, not protection against a spill. More likely it was a work crew digging in the wrong place, or not making the proper calls before digging (with a back hoe)
This isn't the first incident recently involving gas pipelines, back in september it also happened when the Colonial Pipeline leaked thousands of gallons of gas. In the Alabama incident one person has lost their life and others have been hurt. That is completely unacceptable and so companies should clearly be doing more to make the pipelines safer.