The explosion at a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pipe happened at the gun range of Fersno County’s Sheriff’s as the equipment operator was using a front-loader to build a dirt berm.
The explosion caused the flames to reach over 100 feet into the air. It has halted the highway 99 traffic
11 people got injured in the accident.
As the flames covered the highway, traffic was immediately halted. 42 year old Kevin Ling, a freelance photographer said that he was driving shortly when he saw the flames rising into the sky.
He said, “As I got closer, the flames were just bigger and bigger, it was shooting up to 200 feet or more, and a fireball maybe 10 to 15 feet in diameter. It was like out of a movie.”
He added, “My window was up and my AC was on and it still felt like a furnace inside my car.”
The driver of the front loader was a county public works employee who has been working at the shooting range all day long.
Fresno County Sheriff said that 10 prison inmates who were working on enlarging the road and the operator were admitted to hospital.
Mary Lisa Russell, spokeswoman said that four of the injured were treated at the Community Regional Medical Center’s burn and trauma unit. Three of the four men were in critical condition while one was in serious condition.
Other seven out of the 11 injured were taken to two other hospitals.
She said, “Hopefully we’ll be able to speak to the worker to see what action he was taking at the time.”
According to California Highway patrol, highway 99 which was closed after the accident was again reopened after three hours.
The nearby railway line was also halted over concerns that a passing train could spark leaking gas.