- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

CANTON, Ill. (AP) - Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board are leading the investigation of a natural gas explosion that killed one person and demolished buildings in a central Illinois city.

The (Peoria) Journal Star reports (https://bit.ly/2fMvMh7 ) investigator Ravi Chhatre of the NTSB spoke at a news conference Friday in Canton, which was where Wednesday evening’s blast occurred. He says it may take a year before the agency issues a report. The NTSB investigates pipeline accidents that involve fatalities, substantial property damage or significant injury.

Canton Police Chief Rick Nichols says local authorities welcome the federal assistance. The city plans to allow some businesses on the downtown square to reopen Friday afternoon.

Authorities have said the explosion occurred while utility workers were trying to fix a gas leak that a contractor apparently caused.

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