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Natural gas line explosion in Maple Heights

6:48 PM, Aug 18, 2003   |    comments
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A construction crew working on Lee road exposed the line Monday afternoon, which cracked open after old water pipes broke nearby, igniting a fireball that reached up to 200 feet in the air. Neil Durbin, a spokesman for Dominion East Ohio gas, says that a 20 inch intermediate pressure line was hit. The fire, which lasted less than one hour, was put out after Dominion was able to close three valves to shut off gas to the broken line. No injuries have been reported. People from about 100 homes and businesses had to be evacuated, and all were allowed to return by Tuesday. The Red Cross established a temporary shelter for displaced people at the Maple Heights High School gym at 5500 Clement Drive for residents left without electric power or natural gas for heat. The power was back on Tuesday for the 1,900 FirstEnergy customers who lost power. A police car and a piece of heavy equipment near the scene were engulfed in flames and the fire scorched two nearby buildings


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