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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2018, 07:59 PM

22. Centralia, MO

http://www.gendisasters.com/missouri/18442/centralia-mo-natural-gas-line-explosions-jan-1982

A state of emergency was in effect today after 28 homes and businesses burst into flames within seconds when the pressure in a natural gas line was kicked up accidentally, causing water heaters and furnaces to spit fire like
"blowtorches." Five people were injured Thursday in the fires, which started after a gas line regulator was hit by a backhoe at the power company.
. . .

Bill Hollander, a retired engineer, said "gas jets were blowing all over town ... those pilot lights were blowing like blowtorches."

The accident occurred when ALVIN JACOBS, a longtime city employee, was operating a backhoe whith a three-man crew near a Missouri Power and Light Co. building that houses our of four pressure regulators for the town's natural gas system, Knowles said.
The backhoe struck a gas line regulator, allowing high-pressure natural gas to shoot through low-pressure lines into homes across town. Although the high pressure may have caused some houses to explode, most caught fire when the flames shot out of water heaters and furnaces, authorities said. "I don't think anybody knew what was happening for a while," said Barney Wainscott, who had one son lose his home and another lose his insurance office.

"It seemed like everywhere you went there was a fire on either side of you," he said.
"We got that first call, and within minutes, maybe seconds, there were so many calls the phones couldn't handle it."
One of the 125 firefighters called from surrounding towns to fight the blazes said it
"was like somebody decided to make a movie about a whole town burning down."

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