13 Injured in Natural Gas pipeline Explosion
On Friday, a natural gas line got damaged at the Fresno County Peace Officers Firing Range and blasted near Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue in northwest Fresno.
In the incident, 13 people were injured and four are in critical condition. The explosion took place at around 2.30 pm. For now, the cause of the explosion is not clear. Due to the incident, both the directions of a major highway were closed and it caused to traffic in the area.
Some people in the area said that they were asked to leave from the scene while the area was evaluated.
Investigation into the matter is taking place. The fire took place when an operator of county equipment was working with an inmate. “The way it was described to me when this explosion took place was that it sounded like a jet engine going off as a result of the gas and the fire”, said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.
Mims told that 11 people were hospitalized in which there were 10 inmates who were working on the range and the county road worker. A large crater has been formed where the explosion has taken place. Mims said that the front loader has become completely black and could not be repaired.
The heat level was so much that the trashcans nearby them melted. Two deputies were standing around 400 feet away and then immediately ran to help the inmates. They have suffered sun-burn like injuries and have been treated for the same.
Fresno firefighters were present at the scene for many hours. Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis said that gas fire has an explosion factor that most structure fires do not have. Owing which, they remain quite careful and have defense approach as per the same.
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