Officer hailed as hero for racing toward gas explosion fireball to rescue worker

A Southern Illinois police officer put his life on the line to save a construction worker after a gas line explosion triggered a massive fireball on Wednesday, a witness told Fox 2.

Glen Carbon Explosion

A utility worker was injured in this large explosion near Glen Carbon, IL. Jim Harrison sent this video in. Viewers tell us they could see the smoke for miles. Full story:

Posted by Fox2Now on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Maryville Police Officer Justin Krausz "literally called for help and ran full speed towards the flames to pull the victim further to safety," the witness said, adding that the flames shot up 100 feet into the air.

Paramedics rushed the worker to the hospital with severe burns, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The worker's condition Thursday was unclear.

"As far as instincts go, you’re always wanting to get in there and help," Krausz said. He thanked Police Sgt. Brandon Ponce for his help in rescuing the worker.

The explosion rocked a construction site. Investigators said it started after a piece of equipment struck the gas line.

Maryville is nearly 15 miles northeast of St. Louis.

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