Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Blast rocks Kansas gas facility

April 2, 2003

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— An explosion rocked a natural gas facility early Tuesday, injuring five people, authorities said.

The explosion was reported about 7:30 a.m. at the Northern Natural Gas Co.'s compressor station near Bushton in central Kansas, said Mike McGowan, Northern's vice president of administrative services.

Five employees were injured, but McGowan said none of the injuries appeared life threatening. One of the injured was flown to a Wichita hospital for observation because of smoke inhalation, he said. The others were being treated at the scene.

McGowan, who spoke from the company's headquarters in Omaha, Neb., said the cause of the blast was under investigation.

"The station itself has been isolated, and we are currently working on securing the site around the building," he said.

The building where the blast occurred was still burning two hours later, but fire crews were on the scene, McGowan said.

The facility compresses natural gas so it can be transported down into the pipeline, he said.

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