Natural Gas Explosion Triggers Fire, Leaves 1 Injured Man And 2 Damaged Houses, Affects US Gas Markets

First Posted: May 02, 2016 04:00 AM EDT

A natural gas pipeline that is about 30-inches in size exploded in Westmoreland County last Friday morning. It caused one injured man, damaged two homes and nearby utilities, melted road and burned trees. This prompted some homeowners to evacuate the area.

Bob Rosatti, Forbes Road Fire chief, said that the scene feels like you were looking down into the hell. He saw it as a massive fireball.

The explosion occurred around 8:30 a.m., according to Pittsburg Action News. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said that the pipeline is owned by Texas Easter, which is a unit of Spectra Energy. The residents said that they heard a deafening flow of air and the flames were just on top of the sky.

The victim who was burned by the flames said that the heat was so intense that it was burning him as he was running. He ran on the roadway and someone picked him up. He was taken to Pittsburgh Hospital for emergency treatment.

Rosatti said that the explosion damaged all the trees and all the utilities on the roadway such as cables, phones and electrics. It scorched all the telephone poles off too. He further said that it looked like there was bombing in the affected area.

The cause of the blast was not clear yet. There will be an investigation to be conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the explosion also affected the U.S. commodity markets last Friday. It will make the natural gas prices hike in 13 weeks as the incident can upset the natural gas supplies. It might surge by 5.6 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The damaged pipeline traverses half the U.S. With this, it could interrupt gas shipments from Western Pennsylvania to the Northeast.

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