Gas-line blast closes California highway, injures at least 3
FRESNO, CA - Authorities say a large explosion has closed sections of a major highway in Central California and injured at least three people.
The California Highway Patrol reported Friday afternoon that the explosion halted traffic on both northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 99 north of Fresno.
Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff's Office says three people were injured and two were flown out by helicopter. One person appears to be critically injured.
He says a work crew using heavy equipment struck a gas line, sparking the explosion.
Pete Martinez of the Fresno Fire Department says witnesses reported seeing a large fireball. He says the explosion happened at the Fresno County Sheriff's gun range.
The CHP says drivers should use alternative routes, and it is unclear when the highway will reopen.
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