Wyoming town evacuated after gas explosion

“Everyone is being ordered to evacuate east of town,” said county spokesperson Stephen Malik.
By Brooks Hays   |   April 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM

OPAL, Wyo., April 23 (UPI) -- Officials evacuated the entire population -- fewer than 100 residents -- of Opal, Wyoming, after a gas explosion erupted at the local Williams Energy Service plant.

Officials confirmed that no injuries had been reported, and that the evacuation was a precautionary measure.

“Everyone is being ordered to evacuate east of town,” county spokesperson Stephen Malik told KSL TV. "We’re working on long-term sheltering plans."

Opal is one several major natural gas hubs in the Rockies. Most of what's extracted is piped west to California, Nevada, Utah and Oregon.

Industry experts say that the major pipelines have built-in "redundancies" that allow for continued gas flow in the case of disruptions such as this.

It's not yet clear what caused the explosion, but the plant has a fire suppression team on the ready and emergency response units of nearby towns were apparently quick to assist.

[KSL TV] [Denver Post]

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