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6 utility workers hurt in gas explosion near Houston

March 6, 2021 GMT

KLEIN, Texas (AP) — Utility workers trying to repair a broken gas line north of Houston struck another one, causing an explosion that injured six of them, including one critically, authorities said.

The explosion happened Friday in Klein, said Rachel Neutzler, a spokesperson for the Harris County fire marshal. The CenterPoint Energy workers were repairing a 2-inch (5 centimeter) gas line when they struck a larger one, sparking the explosion, she said.

The workers remained hospitalized Saturday with second- and third-degree burns. A firefighter was also injured but was treated at the scene, Neutzler said. Authorities initially said all seven of the injured were utility workers.

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The blast and ensuing fire forced the evacuation of about 100 people from nearby homes, and they were allowed to return on Saturday. One home’s exterior and fence, and a powerline and utility pole were damaged.

CenterPoint Energy said in a statement Saturday that electricity had been restored to affected homes but that crews were still working to restore gas service.