Gas-line blast closes major highway, injures at least 15 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gas-line blast closes major highway, injures at least 15

Posted: Updated:

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A large gas explosion closed both directions of a major highway in Central California and injured at least 15 people, four of them critically, authorities said Friday.

Four patients are being treated at the hospital's burn and trauma center, Community Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Mary Lisa Russell said. Three people in critical condition and one in serious condition are being treated at the burn and trauma center of Community Regional Medical Center, Russell said.

Four other patients were taken to St. Agnes Hospital and three more to Madera Community Hospital, Fresno County Medical Services director Dan Lynch said.

Traffic heading north and south on Highway 99 in Fresno was halted by the explosion about 2:30 p.m., the California Highway Patrol reported.

The explosion happened at the Fresno County Sheriff's gun range, where a work crew, including county jail inmates, using heavy equipment apparently hit a pipe carrying natural gas, Botti said. One of the workers appeared to be in critical condition, he said.

No law enforcement officers were injured, Botti said. A nearby rail line was also halted out of concern that a passing train could spark leaking gas.

Witnesses reported seeing a large fireball, said Pete Martinez of the Fresno Fire Department. The flames prompted a two-alarm call of firefighters.

The CHP asked drivers to use alternative routes. It's unclear when the highway will reopen.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.