The Latest: Fire from natural gas explosion has been put out

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 29, 2016 2:44 PM
The Latest: Fire from natural gas explosion has been put out

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on a natural gas fire and explosion in western Pennsylvania (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A Pennsylvania natural gas pipeline fire that damaged nearby homes and burned a man who was fleeing from one of them has been extinguished.

But now crews have to release some gas that built up in the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline after it was shut off so Friday's fire could stopped. The release might make a loud noise, so the state Department of Environmental Protection is warning the already rattled residents of Salem Township to not be frightened again.

The explosion sent a fireball hundreds of feet into the air and could be felt miles away.

A man is in a Pittsburgh hospital being treated for burns he suffered from the intense heat as he ran from the inferno.

___

12:05 p.m.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says a man who was burned after a natural gas explosion at a Pennsylvania pipeline complex was in a home that caught fire nearby.

Flames shot into the sky Friday morning when officials say an explosion traced to a 36-inch natural gas pipeline occurred at a facility owned by Texas Eastern Transmission.

Company officials shut off the pipeline, but not before the fire burned an area nearby in Salem Township.

The injured man has been taken to a Pittsburgh hospital. His name and condition were not immediately released.

Officials say the fire is contained but residual gas in the pipeline will continue to burn for hours. A one-quarter mile radius has been evacuated in the largely rural township.

State utility regulators, state police and the gas company are investigating.

___

10 a.m.

Crews are responding to a natural gas explosion in Pennsylvania where at least one injury has been reported.

John Poister of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says a well fire was reported at around 8:30 a.m. Friday in Salem Township, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. He says the total number of people injured and the severity of the injuries is unknown.

The cause of the blast isn't immediately clear. The explosion caused flames to shoot above nearby treetops in the largely rural township.

Residents have been being evacuated in the immediate area.

Poister says the well has been successfully shut down, and crews are letting residual gases burn off. The process is expected to take several hours.

It isn't immediately clear who owns the gas facility.

___

9:30 a.m.

Crews are responding to a natural gas explosion in Pennsylvania where at least one injury has been reported.

The explosion involves either a pipeline or a gas well. It occurred Friday morning in Salem Township, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The cause of the blast isn't immediately clear. The explosion caused flames to shoot above nearby treetops in the largely rural township.

Businesses are being evacuated in the immediate area.

Westmoreland County emergency dispatchers say at least one ambulance has been summoned.

It was not immediately clear who owns the gas facility.