Utility worker punctured pipe in Mass. gas blast - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Utility worker punctured pipe in Mass. gas blast

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - The state fire marshal says a gas company worker responding to reports of a natural gas leak in western Massachusetts punctured a pipe and an unknown spark ignited a massive explosion that injured 18 people.

   Authorities on Sunday didn't name the Columbia Gas Go. worker who pierced the high-pressure pipe in Springfield, one of New England's largest cities. Friday's explosion there damaged more than 40 buildings.

   Some officials called it a miracle that no one was killed. The cause of the spark that ignited the explosion is still unknown.

   Most of the injured were part of a group of gas workers, firefighters and police officers who ducked for cover behind a utility truck just before the blast.

   The gas company planned a news conference for later Sunday afternoon.

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