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06/08/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Dallas, TX—A massive explosion, which sent a fireball into the air, killed one worker and injured seven others. The blast occurred in rural Johnson County, about 50 miles southwest of Dallas, when utility worker accidentally hit a large natural gas line near Cleburne, as reported by USA Today.

One worker was reportedly riding in a truck, drilling holes for utility poles when the violent explosion occurred. During the blast, fellow co-workers lost sight of him because of the dense smoke. Authorities were able to locate the worker several hours after the explosion, once the fire was put out. Although officials hoped the missing worker had left the site with other injured workers who drove themselves to the hospital, their hopes were diminished when they found the missing man’s body some distance from the blast site. The identity of the deceased worker was not released.

Officials said the blast was so violent and so massive that when they found the truck the deceased worker was riding, it was upside down and the 2,000-pound drilling component was completely ripped off the vehicle and thrown 250 away from the truck. Because of the intense heat, firefighters had to stay a half-mile away until the gas flow was shut off so that they could extinguish the raging fire.

Seven of the 13 workers who were at the site at the time of the natural gas explosion were treated at area hospitals. Two of the workers were treated and released and four others were listed in stable condition. The seventh worker was taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth in an unknown condition.

Subcontractors hired by Waco-based Brazos Electric Cooperative employed the injured workers.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the natural gas line explosion.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Texas workplace accident attorneys.

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