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Blast rocks Washington gas plant; 5 workers hurt

Published On: Apr 01 2014 01:17:21 PM CDT

Officials along the Washington-Oregon border say a large explosion that rocked a natural gas processing plant injured five workers, caused about 400 people to leave nearby farms and homes, and sent up a black cloud visible for more than a mile.

The Monday morning blast at the Williams Northwest Pipeline facility near the Washington town of Plymouth sparked a fire and punctured one of the facility's two giant storage tanks for liquefied natural gas.

Benton Fire District 1 Capt. Jeff Ripley says one worker with burn injuries was taken to a burn center while another four people were taken to local medical facilities.

By Monday night, the evacuation zone had been reduced from a 2-mile radius to a 1-mile radius. Road and river restrictions have been lifted.

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