- Associated Press - Monday, October 2, 2017

BARSTOW, Calif. (AP) - Southern California authorities say nobody was hurt when a natural gas line caught fire and exploded, destroying heavy construction equipment in the western Mojave Desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The San Bernardino Sun reports (https://bit.ly/2yjriLr ) the blast was reported Sunday just south of Interstate 40, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Barstow.

Ryan Vaccaro, spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department, says a crew of about 16 workers was evacuated before the explosion when somebody smelled a gas odor.

The newspaper says the blast destroyed equipment, created a crater in the ground and sparked a small brush fire.

The line belongs to Southern California Gas Company, according to spokeswoman Christine Detz. She tells the newspaper a drop in pressure within the transmission line preceded the explosion.

The cause is under investigation.

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Information from: The Sun, https://www.sbsun.com

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