3 Injured, Home Destroyed in Texas Natural Gas Line Blast

November 6, 2009

A natural gas pipeline explosion shook homes, melted window blinds and shot flames hundreds of feet into the air early Thursday near Amarillo, Texas.

Three people were injured in the blast, which was reported around 1 a.m. about a mile north of Bushland. The fire was contained by 5:30 a.m., said Potter County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Roger Short.

Those injured suffered burns and were taken to Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, Short said. He didn’t provide details. The cause of the explosion hasn’t been determined.

“My home is about 20 miles something away and I could see the flames from my home, and that’s substantial. The flames were huge,” Short told The Associated Press. “You could her the roar of the flames 20 miles away.”

Gas was shut off to the line and most evacuated residents were being allowed to go home by 5:30 a.m., Short said. One house was destroyed and several others were damaged, he said.

“The heat onto the homes, it did a lot of damage. You could see blinds inside the homes that were melted, it was hot, it was very hot,” Short said.

Bushland Middle School principal Mark Reasor said about 60 people who were evacuated took shelter at the school, but were returning home before dawn. He said classes would start one hour late.

Crews from El Paso Natural Gas and Atmos Energy were at the scene. Messages left with the hospital for conditions of those injured were not immediately returned.

Bushland is a town of about 1,500, located 15 miles west of Amarillo.

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