Homes evacuated after gas line blast near Pittsburgh

Sept. 10 (UPI) — A large gas line exploded in western Pennsylvania Monday, setting off a fire and evacuating a number of homes in the area, authorities said.

The explosion occurred just before 5 a.m. Monday in Beaver County, in Center Township, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Police shut down a nearby intersection because of the incident.

The line is owned and operated by Energy Transfer.

Center Township Police Chief Barry Kramer said there was an immediate evacuation of more than two dozen homes.

“Some of those evacuees required medical assistance, not because of injuries, but because of medical conditions,” Kramer said.

The evacuees were taken to the Center Township fire hall where the American Red Cross is assisting with food and other supplies.

No injuries were initially reported, but there was significant structural damage.

“There was damage to a house burned, a garage burned, multiple vehicles burned,” Kramer said. “So there was a threat and it was immediate.

“Had this fire continued to burn out of control I’m quite sure that there would have been more residual damage.”

A pipeline company representative said the valve was shut off but “took time to burn the gas that was remaining in the line out.”

The explosion also collapsed some high-tension power lines in the area.

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