- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A fuel pipeline that runs underneath a cornfield in the western portion of Illinois exploded shortly before midnight on Monday, shooting flames 300 feet into the sky and sending residents fleeing, authorities said.

Dozens of Whiteside County homes were evacuated, as flames spread throughout the area, Erie community Assistant Fire Chief Scott Melton said, in The Associated Press. No injuries were reported, but the fireball could be seen from miles away.

A mix of ethane and propane ran through the pipeline, Assistant Fire Chief Melton said.

At least 80 families were sent packing, and roads from as far away as five miles were closed. All but two families were back in their homes by Tuesday, authorities said in the AP report,

“There’s still some fuel left in the pipe and they’re going to let that burn off, because it’s the safest way to handle it,” said one spokesman with the company that owns the pipeline, Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners.

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