Gas explosion damages at least two homes in Kentucky, forces evacuation of town

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An underground gas line explosion rocked a rural Kentucky county early Thursday morning, destroying at least two homes, injuring at least two people and forcing the evacuation of an entire town.

The blast left a crater with a circumference of 60 feet near the town of near the town of Knifley, approximately 90 miles south of Louisville, an emergency official said.

The Associated Press reported that the explosion and subsequent fire happened at approximately 1 a.m. Following the explosion, the entire town was evacuated, WAVE reports. About 150 people live there.

Two people were treated at a hospital Thursday morning and released, according to WDRB.

In addition to the two homes that were destroyed, Thomas says a third home was damaged by fire along with four or five vehicles.

A fire that burned after the explosion required the attention of fire departments from three counties, as well as the state's Department of Forestry, which was called after the blaze spread to a wooded area. Thomas said firefighters have the fire under control and are letting it burn itself out.

But there were minor injuries among crews fighting the fire, Kentucky State Police Trooper Billy Gregory told WDRB.

The pipeline, which was about 20 feet underground, is owned by Columbia Gulf Transmission, Thomas said.

Reuters quoted a local police officer as saying that the explosion could be seen in the town of Columbia, 12 miles away.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.