Gas explosion rocks Ohio town : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Gas explosion rocks Ohio town No serious injuries reported July 19, 2000 Web posted at: 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT)

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (CNN) -- An explosion at a gas plant about 25 miles east of Cleveland sent huge plumes of black smoke into the sky Wednesday. No serious injuries were reported.

Firefighters had trouble battling the blaze at the AmeriGas distribution center because of the size of the water mains. Authorities evacuated residents in a two-mile radius.

Justin Falcone, a dispatcher with the Willoughby Police Department, said the explosion happened at 2:30 p.m.

One employee at the plant -- a 31-year-old man -- was being treated for what was described as minor first-degree burns and was to be released later Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Lake West Hospital said. "We are not expecting anyone else," the spokeswoman said.

However, Dan Diliberto, mayor of nearby Eastlake, said there was one other victim with minor injuries.

Officials closed roads in the area and anticipated major traffic jams in the afternoon rush hour.

"Traffic going home tonight is going to be a nightmare," Diliberto said.

There was an explosion at the same plant in 1980 and one person was injured in that accident.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 21, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ