Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tragic coincidence

As Bushland and Amarillo residents learned last November, an exploding gasline is not to be trifled with. When flames shoot up hundreds of feet, it's deadly.

And now, in a matter of two days, three workers have been killed in two separate accidents when machinery accidentally ruptured natural gas lines. One Tuesday afternoon was in the Panhandle, near Darrourzett in the far northeast corner.

The blast involved a crew removing caliche from a pit for a dirt-contracting company. A bulldozer struck the pipeline, triggering the explosion that killed two and has sent another worker to an Oklahoma City hospital. Two others were injured, but it was not considered life-threatening.

Twenty-four earlier, near Cleburne, a gas line erupted after utility workers accidentally hit the line. A crew was drilling holes for utility poles when the explosion occurred. In addition to one fatality, seven went to the hospital.

In both explosions, officials estimated the temperatures at more than 2,000 degrees.

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