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Fifteen Injured in California Gas Pipeline Explosion

Ruptured Natural Gas Transmission Line in Fresno California

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While crews were reinforcing a berm behind the targets at the Fresno County Peace Officers’ Range, a pipe was ruptured, Friday April 17, 2014.

The twelve inch Pacific Gas & Electric pipe struck by a backhoe erupted in a fireball, injuring the construction crew who damaged it, and some of the jail inmate crew working in close proximity digging bullets out of the berm were also injured. Highway 99 was closed as a consequence. The gas was cut off at 3:20 p.m. and burned off by 4 pm.

One person was flown by a medical evacuation chopper, and fifteen others by ambulance to Fresno hospitals including Community Regional Medical Center.

The damage was done by a county public works backhoe.

The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating, as well as PG&E and the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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