Natural gas pipeline explosion injures two, destroys homes in West Virginia


A natural-gas pipeline exploded near Charleston, W.Va, injuring two people and destroying several homes, a county government official said Tuesday.

The explosion of a NiSource 20-inch transmission line destroyed five homes and severely damaged others in Kanawha County, about 15 miles north of state capital Charleston, said County Manager Jennifer Sayer.

The pipeline has been shut off, allowing emergency crews to approach the scene for further investigation, Ms. Sayer said.

Two people suffered minor injuries, with one suffering from smoke inhalation, Ms. Sayre said.

The explosion occurred after noon, shooting flames into the air. The fire eventually spread to Highway 77 in Sissonville, Kanahwa County commissioner Kent Carper told local radio WCHS.

NiSource employees were working with emergency officials to assess damages, company spokesman Mike Banas said. Natural-gas customers would not be affected by the accident, Mr. Banas added.

In 2010, a natural-gas pipeline operated by Pacific Gas & Electric exploded in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, killing eight people.

Dow Jones Newswires

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