At least 3 dead, 6 injured in Texas natural gas explosion
Monday, June 7, 2010; 5:30 PM
A natural gas pipeline exploded Monday about 50 miles southwest of Dallas, killing at least three people and injuring at least six, local officials and news media reported.
The blast occurred about 2:40 p.m. Central time when workers apparently struck the underground gas pipeline while digging near Cleburne in Johnson County, Tex., Cleburne Fire Chief Clint Ishmael told CNN.
"An unknown number of people are still unaccounted for," he said. "We're trying to locate those people."
The local television station WFAA quoted the Cleburne city manager as saying three people were killed and 10 were missing.
Ishmael said firefighters were trying to get the supply of gas turned off as a massive fire continued to burn more than two hours after the explosion. He said that was the only hope of putting out the fire.
The blast unleashed huge orange flames and a cloud of smoke, witnesses said. Television news footage showed a couple of vehicles burning in the vicinity.
Laura Harlin, who lives about a mile from the scene, told CNN she heard a rumbling noise that sounded like a jet engine when the explosion occurred. She said her house shook and the rumbling lasted for about 10 minutes.