Five hurt in Washington State gas plant blast
31 March 2014
On March 31, an explosion at the Williams Northwest Pipeline natural gas processing plant near the town of Plymouth, WA, started a fire and damaged one of the facility's two giant storage tanks for liquefied natural gas. The explosion was heard 20 miles away and five workers received injuries, although none are thought to be life-threatening.
A fire at the plant, which employs 18, was extinguished within 24 hours. Local deputies evacuated about 400 residents within 2 miles of the plant as a precaution.
The facility provides gas during times of high demand for a 4,000-mile pipeline stretching from the Canadian border to southern Utah. Its two storage tanks for liquefied natural gas each have a capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet, according to a Williams spokeswoman.
A pipeline engineer with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission will investigate the cause of the explosion and liaise with the western region of the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the commission said.