2 Dead After Gas Pipeline Struck by Farming Equipment Explodes in Northern Illinois

Two people are dead and two others hospitalized Tuesday after farming equipment struck a natural gas line that exploded in northern Illinois, officials said.

Lee County Emergency received a 911 call at 9:02 a.m. reporting an explosion and fire at the northeast corner of Nachusa Road and Route 38, Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said.

Preliminary investigation shows farm workers were installing field tile in the area. A tractor pulling a tiling plow got stuck, another tractor tried to free it and a large explosion occurred upon the accidental striking of a natural gas pipeline, Simonton told reporters.

The conditions of both people injured in the explosion had stabilized.

The wind blew the fire's flames away from nearby homes and helped put the inferno out, Simonton said.

Kindor Morgan shut the gas off, helping to finally extinguish the fire.

The scene was secured by 1:15 p.m.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office also said that it has investigators at the scene.

Nachusa is about 95 miles (152.88 kilometres) west of downtown Chicago.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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