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Dramatic Gas Line Explosion in West Virginia Closes Interstate

Nearby structures were also reported on fire

- Common Dreams staff

A gas line explosion in Sissonville, West Virginia has closed Interstate 77. (Courtesy of Kanawha County Emergency Services)A dramatic gas line explosion in the town of Sissonville, West Virginia has closed down Interstate 77 and early reports say that multiple structures nearby—possibly residential homes—are on fire.

What caused the explosion, whether or not anyone has been killed, or the extent of possible injuries in the ensuing fires is not yet clear.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper and county emergency management officials are at the scene, reports the Charleston Daily Mail. "They're reporting fire everywhere," Carper said. 

Local ABC affiliate WCHS TV reports:

Metro 911 reported that several people from the Park and Ride at the Pocatalico exit were transported to the hospital due to smoke inhalation following a huge gas explosion that rocked the Sissonville area.

A dispatcher said it was unclear if there were more injuries, but officials were anticipating there could be more.

The dispatcher said at least four homes were still on fire, and he said there could be more residences affected.

Several roads were affected by the explosion. Route 21/Sissonville Drive was closed and open only for emergency vehicle use. Traffic was being diverted at the Interstate 77-79 split and being routed onto I-79, the dispatcher said. Metro said north of Pocatalico the south side of I-77 was shut down.

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