Elwin, IL Pipeline Explosion, Oct 1992


Elwin, Ill. - A pipeline exploded while it was being moved to make way for highway expansion, said John Barnett, a spokesman for its owner, Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co.
Barnett, speaking from Eastern Panhandle headquarters in Houston, said company workers had uncovered about 100 feet of the pipe when it ruptured. The cause of the accident was unknown, he said.
"I could see a spray of gas going straight up and going into the wind," said Rhonda Morrell, who was driving on nearby U.S. 51 at the time. "I thought it was going to blow. I turned around and headed back. Just as I did, I saw it shoot up."
The explosion blew a truck off the road, seriously injuring a man inside, said Lewis Mahoney, spokesman for St. Mary's Hospital in Decatur. Three other people, two of them firefighters, were treated for less serious injuries, he said.
State police Sgt. Richard Kaelin said the flames had died down by 11:30 a.m. leaving a few minor grass fires.

Kokomo Tribune Indiana 1992-10-10