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Gas-Line Explosion in Fresno Injures 14 People, Shuts Down Highway 99

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Fourteen people were rushed to the hospital with burns after a major gas line explosion near the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office gun range Friday, a fire official said.

The blast occurred behind the range about 2:30 p.m. when a county worker leading a team of inmates constructing a dirt road accidentally struck the gas line, said Fresno Fire Department spokesman Pete Martinez.

Thirty-five firefighters quickly subdued the blaze, and Pacific Gas & Electric cut off the gas supply to the line, Martinez said.

The county worker leading the team and at least one of the inmates were critically injured in the explosion, which sent a fireball 100 feet into the sky, authorities said. The inmates were part of a work program at the Fresno County Jail, Martinez said.

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