Gas is an extremely useful resource; one of its more common uses is for heat. As people prepare for the cold winter months, they usually restock their supply of gas so that their homes can remain warm throughout all kinds of bad weather. In many cases, private gas lines are installed below ground so that homes have direct access at all times.
But using gas as a fuel does not come without a price. Because of its flammable qualities, gasoline presents some significant safety concerns. If mishandled, gas lines can result in major explosions, personal injuries and even deaths.
On Friday, April 17, 2015, a massive explosion rocked the suburban neighborhoods around northwest Fresno, California. ABC News 30 is reporting that a gas line, owned by Pacific Gas and Electric, was hit by a contracting crew doing excavating near a police-operated gun range. Witnesses claimed to have seen the fiery explosion up to twenty miles away. Thousands of other Fresno residents felt the blast as it shook the earth. The explosion left a gigantic crater in the ground, and completely destroyed the backhoe.
Official at PG&E are cooperating with police to discover the cause of the incident, which severely burned eleven people, including several police officers. All of the burn victims remain in critical condition at a Fresno hospital.
The company has issued a statement saying that the amount of gas released by the explosion was equivalent to what 10,000 homes would use at a given time. The gas line that was hit was roughly 40 inches below the ground, and officials believe that it was struck by a backhoe during excavation.