A Kentucky gas explosion rocked Adair County early Thursday morning around 1 a.m., destroying two homes and sending at least two individuals to the hospital. The natural gas explosion left a crater in the ground estimated to be 60 feet deep, reports The Atlantic Wire via Yahoo! News yesterday.
Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director Greg Thomas said two homes were completely demolished, along with vehicles and nearby structures, and a third home was severely damaged.
“We didn’t get up close to the crater because there were still flames shooting several feet in the air,” Rector said. “They had got the pipeline shut off in both directions, but the excess gas remaining in the pipe was still burning when I left.”
Around 20 homes had to be evacuated while officials traced the cause of the explosion. A state of emergency was declared for Adair County. Residents who were forced to leave were allowed to return late Thursday.
The two burn victims were taken to hospitals for evaluation. Their condition was not released.
American Red Cross volunteers responded to the scene, and were delivering food and support to emergency workers and victims whose houses were burned or damaged.
Area fire departments, police and emergency responders also were lending support.
The gas pipeline that exploded is owned and operated by Columbia Gulf Transmission. The company made the following statement:
“We don’t yet know the cause but will be working with the appropriate authorities to conduct a thorough and complete investigation,” the statement said.
Firefighters said the blaze was under control, and they are allowing the fire to burn itself out.
“The gas company is taking charge of the cleanup and determination of what happened,” Thomas said. “They will have engineers to send the pipes off to determine what happened. It’s a process that’s going to be happening for a while.”