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Three killed, 10 missing in U.S. natural gas line explosion

06-08-2010 07:21 BJT

HOUSTON, June 7 (Xinhua) -- At least three people were killed and 10 others went missing in a powerful natural gas line explosion that occurred in Johnson County, the U.S. state of Texas on Monday, local media reported.

The explosion, which took place about 2:40 p.m. local time near Cleburne, in north central Texas, also left 6 people wounded, Cleburne city manager Chester Nolen told local TV station WFAA.

Witnesses said they heard thunder-like sounds and that at 3:15 p.m. they could still "hear the rumbling."

Television images showed massive flames and a huge plume of smoke and a burned out vehicle.

A lot of people have been transported to hospital with burn injuries.

"About 2:40 p.m., we heard a loud explosion, rumbling, almost like a tornado. It shook our entire house," witness Laura Harlin told WFAA.

"We don't really smell anything at this point. It sounds like faraway thunder at this point," she said. At 3:15 p.m., she said she could still hear the rumbling.

A gas company was working to turn off the underground gas line which measures 36 inches, according to WFAA.

Firefighters from eight departments were fighting the fire.

"There's not a whole lot they can do, until they get that line turned off," Nolen said. "A lot is going to depend on where the main valves are that control that section of line."

What's in the line is going to have to burn off before crews can get the line shut off, said Nolen. "So it may be late into this evening when they get the fire controlled."

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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