Officer pulls worker to safety as gas main explodes

73
Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 4:29 AM

m. Wednesday on Illinois one hundred sixty-two in Maryville, Ill. The injured person was taken to Anderson Hospital in Maryville with burns over seventy % of his body, then flown to a St.

Officer pulls worker to safety as gas main explodes

A gas line explosion and towering fireball damage at minimum one construction worker and consumed construction equipment about two p. m. Wednesday on Illinois one hundred sixty-two in Maryville, Ill..

The injured person was taken to Anderson Hospital in Maryville with burns over seventy % of his body, then flown to a St. Louis hospital. The equipment operator with Keller Construction in Edwardsville was stabilized at the Maryville hospital before being transferred to Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, which has a burn unit.

“They were able to obtain him here very quickly,” Anderson Hospital spokeswoman Natalie Head said. “Our prayers are with his family.”

News photographs and eyewitness accounts painted a chaotic scene, with police officers rushing toward the fireball.

Maryville resident Jim Harrison said he saw Maryville Police Officer Justin Krausz carry an injured person from the fire.

“He keep his car in park, radioed it in and ran directly toward him, and picked him up and carried him a distance from the flames, then other rescue crews started arriving,” Harrison said.

Maryville Police Chief Rob Carpenter said a construction crew excavating at the site of the future Villas at Nottingham hit a ten-inch steel gas line and triggered an explosion at 1:45 p. m. Wednesday. Carpenter said the intense flames made it challenging for emergency workers to work, but they were able to obtain to a worker who was seriously injured and rush him to the hospital. “The flames were shooting very high in the air when we arrived,” he said.

Early reports that there was a fatality on the scene were in error, Carpenter said. “Everybody else is accounted for,” he said.

Ameren crews were able to close off the gas line, but the explosion set several cars on fire, some of which also exploded, Carpenter said. “We heard a lot of pops and bangs,” he said.

Carpenter said as distant as he knows, none of the houses was damaged. Residents were evacuated for at minimum a quarter mi E and W from the scene. Illinois one hundred sixty-two was closed from Illinois one hundred fifty-nine to one hundred fifty-seven, along with several side roads and sections of Illinois one hundred fifty-seven. “We’re not going to let anyone back in until we know it’s one hundred % safe,” Carpenter said.

John Barud, an Ameren operations director, said a loss of gas pressure was noticed immediately at a control middle in Decatur.

“We saw a loss of pressure, and we knew something had happened to a 10-inch, steel, high-pressure main that runs down here,” Barud said.

“There’s a third party construction company, not Ameren, was doing some work at a subdivision down the road and they actually dug into this high pressure main. And it’s several hundred pounds of pressure. So once they dug into it and perforated it there was an escape of gas. And it'd have arrive out love a jet engine, because of the pressure, and there was an ignition at some point,” Barud said.

Carpenter said he wasn't alert of what precautionary measures were or weren't taken by the construction company regarding presence of gas lines.

Glen Carbon resident Sandy Gerstenecker-Weinacht said she smelled gas in the area more than an hr prior to the explosion Wednesday afternoon.

“I was just driving through on one hundred fifty-ninth at 12:45 and could odor gas by the new Circle K gas Sta and Walgreens,” she said.

The gas explosion also led to evacuation of some homes in the area. Witness Jimmy Simmons, a freelance photographer, said the explosion rocked his house and then he saw the flames shooting up.

Simmons said a woman driving on Illinois one hundred sixty-two at Buck Road Cemetery had to abandon her car and running from the fire. Construction equipment was being consumed by flames and he shielded himself from the heat with a tombstone to get photos.

“I guess I was about a football field far from the fire,” Simmons said. “Even at that distance the heat was so intense. I worried about the power lines being burned and the power lines falling down. We didn’t stay very long.”

Emergency authorities were setting up roadblocks on Illinois one hundred fifty-seven and Keebler Road as well as on Illinois one hundred fifty-nine to slice off Illinois one hundred sixty-two. Maryville Police Dept said drivers should avert Illinois one hundred sixty-two betweeen Illinois one hundred fifty-seven and 159.

According to Collinsville Unit 10 School District, school buses carrying students to that area have been intercepted. Students living in the affected area were being taken back to school, where families could choose them up.

Principals from Maryville Elementary, Dorris Intermediate School, Collinsville Center School and Collinsville High School were in the process of contacting families.

A Maryville firefighter told the Belleville News-Democrat that the fire wasn't affecting any buildings.

Black smoke was visible from the S border of Maryville.

This legend will be updated as more information becomes available.

READ ALSO
Have an offshore? Maybe you’re feeling indigestion

Have an offshore? Maybe you’re feeling indigestion

If you've an offshore, you’d better create sure the IRS knows. The breach of Mossack Fonseca documents might've the mega-rich rethinking their utilize of offshores even though many rely on such companies for all sorts of valid purposes, tax experts...

64
WY investigates Panama Papers law firm

WY investigates Panama Papers law firm

Upon learning of the Panama Papers, a massive leak of secret offshore company data reported on by McClatchy and more than one hundred other media partners around the globe, WY initiated an audit of twenty-four companies registered in the state by the law firm Mossack...

49
Oil prices up on U. S. inventory draw, but traders warn on premature rally

Oil prices up on U. S. inventory draw, but traders warn on premature rally

International Brent futures LCOc1 traded over per barrel in early trading and stood at $40.07 at thirty-eighth GMT, up twenty-three cents from the latest near and almost eight % over lows reached earlier this week.

83
SunEdison setback may delay Modi'south 'ultra mega' solar drive in India

SunEdison setback may delay Modi'south 'ultra mega' solar drive in India

As the U. S. solar giant fights to stave off bankruptcy, the five hundred megawatt project in Andhra Pradesh state it won latest Nov lies idle with ground yet to be broken.

49