California gas pipeline explosion, fire injure up to 15 people

By REUTERS
April 18, 2015 06:40

A construction crew on Friday accidentally ruptured a natural gas transmission line in Fresno, California, sparking an explosion and fire that injured up to 15 people, four of them critically, officials said.

The 12-inch pipeline, belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Corp, was struck by a backhoe near state Highway 99, unleashing a fireball that injured members of the construction team and a jail inmate crew nearby, Fresno Fire Department spokesman Peter Martinez said.



The accident forced closure of the highway in both directions, along with an adjacent railroad line, Martinez said. Rail traffic was halted to check for possible damage to a railway bridge over a river, he said.


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