Gas pipeline explodes in NW Minn.

Published 10:03 am Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WARREN — A natural gas pipeline ruptured and exploded, sending flames shooting high into the sky in far northwestern Minnesota on Monday, authorities said.

The Marshall County sheriff’s office received a call about a large fire about three miles northwest of Warren just before 6:30 a.m.

“The flames were over 100 feet in the air so it was really something out there,” said Jim Duckstad, the county’s 911 coordinator. People who called in said it sounded like a jet engine.

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Nobody was injured, but six or seven families living within two miles of the site were evacuated, he said.

The gas line was shut down and the fire extinguished itself around 8:30 a.m., he said. Natural gas to the cities of Warren and Argyle may remain shut off for a couple days, he said.

The pipeline is owned by Viking Gas Transmission Company, which sent crews to the scene.

While the cause remained under investigation, Duckstad said authorities suspect natural causes. There’s still frost in the ground and the soil is wet, he said.

The site is about 28 miles northeast of Grand Forks, North Dakota.