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One dead, two injured in California gas explosion

17 November 2015

A heavy equipment operator was killed after puncturing a natural gas line in Central California, creating an explosion and 200-foot-high plumes of flame that destroyed a nearby home. The flames could be seen for miles on November 13 south of Bakersfield and two people in a house nearby were injured with up to 30% burns, according to local ambulance staff.

Stock image
Stock image

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company line was about 12 feet underground when it was struck by the heavy machinery and exploded. The gas was quickly shut off and the fire extinguished, according to PGE, which said none of its employees were involved in the incident.

'The fire burned so intensely,' Kern County fire Captain Tom Ellison said. 'Everything was gone. It was black.'

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