Utility worker punctured pipe in Mass. gas blast

Associated Press
Inspectors stand in debris, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at the site of a gas explosion that leveled a strip club in Springfield, Mass., on Friday evening. Investigators were trying to figure out what caused the blast where the multistory brick building housing Scores Gentleman's Club once stood. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The state fire marshal says a gas company worker responding to reports of a natural gas leak in western Massachusetts punctured a pipe and an unknown spark ignited a massive explosion that injured 18 people.

Authorities on Sunday didn't name the Columbia Gas Go. worker who pierced the high-pressure pipe in Springfield, one of New England's largest cities. Friday's explosion there damaged more than 40 buildings.

Some officials called it a miracle that no one was killed. The cause of the spark that ignited the explosion is still unknown.

Most of the injured were part of a group of gas workers, firefighters and police officers who ducked for cover behind a utility truck just before the blast.

The gas company planned a news conference for later Sunday afternoon.

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