Gas Explosion Shakes Texas

A rural area west of Fort Worth was shaken awake before dawn Friday when a natural gas well exploded near Possum Kingdom Lake, a sheriff's official said.

The pipeline exploded just before 2 a.m. Friday near the intersection of U.S. 180 and Texas 16, about 12 miles west of Palo Pinto.

The sound from the blast shook residents for miles around an area, and the flash was visible for 100 miles, Palo Pinto County sheriff's dispatcher Linda Ezell told Associated Press Radio.

The blast formed a large crater and ignited secondary fires for a mile around, but just one worker at a nearby drilling rig was slightly injured, Sheriff Ira Mercer told Dallas-Fort Worth television station WFAA.

The secondary fires were been extinguished, but the residual gas continued to burn throughout the predawn hours, Mercer said.

Crews from nearby fire departments, the Texas Forest Service and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have been dispatched, he said.

The site was about 60 miles west of Fort Worth.