Reports are coming in of a big explosion in Sissonville, West Virginia (scroll down for photos and video).
The northbound lanes of Interstate 77 are closed in the Sissonville area, from Tuppers Creek to Pocatalico due to what’s being called a major gas line explosion.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper tells WSAZ.com crews were called to what was described as a major gas line explosion in Sissonville.
WSAZ says that right now, no injuries or fatalities have been reported. A “Shelter in Place” has been issued for buildings in the area, though.
The AP reports that according to state police, several structures are on fire.
West Virginia Metro News cites Kanahwa County Commissioner Kent Carper:
“The flames are shooting 50, 75 to 100 feet. There’s fire everywhere,” said Carper reporting from the scene on 58-WCHS. “Gas company is on the scene working with emergency officials to get the gas shut off, then we’ll assess if we have injuries or casualties. At this time it’s a fairly chaotic scene.”
“Several structures are involved. The fire is so hot it’s like a blevy. It’s caused houses to melt and burn way far away,” he said. “Many structures are on fire in a large fire area stretching hundreds and hundreds of feet.”
The Charleston Gazette is reporting that the fire has been put out, and the search for casualties is underway:
Crews apparently extinguished the fire just before 2 p.m. but a large amount of fumes remain in the air, said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.
Carper said paramedics and emergency responders are going into homes and apartments now to assess injuries or fatalities.
Bloomberg News (via the Bloomberg terminal) cites West Virginia officials confirming earlier reports, saying the gas line has been shut off, there are still no confirmed injuries or deaths, and a search is underway for victims.
Readers can also follow along via a live audio feed of Kanawha County’s emergency services scanners.
Below are five photos from Twitter. The first was posted by Charleston Gazette reporter Mackenzie Mays, who says the photo comes from Kanawha County Emergency Services:
Photo: Twitter / Mackenzie Mays
The second photo is from Twitter user @tori_eagle:
Photo: Twitter / Tori Eagle
Local news outlet WOWK posted this sobering video of the flames towering into the air:
And James Hopkins of WOWK just tweeted this photo:
Photo: Twitter / James Hopkins
WSAZ reporter Bill Murray tweeted this aerial photo, giving some perspective on the fire:
Photo: Twitter / Bill Murray
Now, this photo, which shows the site of the fire since it’s been put out, is making the rounds on Twitter (h/t @LacyNeff):
Scorched earth. Click here for live updates >
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