Tags: washington | plant | fire

Washington Plant Fire: Natural Gas Facility Blast Injures 5

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 01:30 PM

By Michael Mullins

A Washington State plant fire at a natural gas processing facility injured five workers and forced the evacuation of approximately 400 residents Monday afternoon as a mushroom cloud of smoke reportedly engulfed the surrounding area.

The blast occurred at 8:20 a.m. at the Williams Northwest Pipeline facility near the Washington town of Plymouth, which is located near the Oregon border along the Columbia River. The plant's fire punctured one of the facility's two giant storage tanks that contained liquefied natural gas, causing a small amount of gas to leak from the tank into a moat-like area surrounding it, The Associated Press reported.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

"I think if one of those huge tanks had exploded, it might have been a different story," Benton County Sheriff Steven Keane told reporters after the plant fire was contained. It reportedly took firefighters several hours to extinguish the fire.

Of the injuries sustained by the workers, none are believed to be life-threatening.

"I looked across the river and saw a giant mushroom cloud and flames at least a couple hundred feet high," Cindi Stefani, who lives a little more than a mile from the plant on the other side of the Columbia River, told the AP.

"It was just a very loud boom," Stefani added, noting that many of the farm animals on the surrounding properties were running about scared from the blast. "At that point we were pretty scared. I was thinking, 'We need to get out of here.'"

All residents living within 2 miles of the fire were subsequently evacuated on a voluntary basis by sheriff deputies, the majority of which however were allowed to return late Monday night.

According to Williams Northwest Pipeline spokeswoman Michele Swaner, each of the two storage tanks can contain up to 1.2 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas. The punctured tank was reportedly a third of the way full. The facility provides supplementary gas to a 4,000-mile pipeline that stretches from southern Utah to the Canadian border.

While the facility generally has between 17 and 18 employees, Swaner told the AP that just 14 workers were at the plant at the time of the fire, all of which have been accounted for.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Kentucky Senator Brandon Smith Wants Out of DUI With Immunity Law

Friday, 23 Jan 2015 19:20 PM

Kentucky state Senator Brandon Smith, arrested earlier this month on a DUI charge, is making an effort to get the charge . . .

School Bus Pentagram? Woman Outraged Over Satanic Brake Light Symbol

Friday, 23 Jan 2015 18:53 PM

A Tennessee woman is outraged after spotting what she says is a satanic pentagram formed by the brake lights on a school . . .

Rapper Tiny Doo May Face Long Jail Sentence Over Lyrics

Friday, 23 Jan 2015 18:10 PM

San Diego rapper Tiny Doo is facing a possible 25-year prison sentence for his violent song lyrics under a little-known  . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved