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4 Hurt in House Explosion

October 4, 1996

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) _ A house exploded Thursday when a natural gas line ruptured, damaging nearby houses, blowing pictures off walls and injuring four people, one critically.

The area smelled of gas hours after the blast. Police ordered bystanders not to smoke.

Two of the injured lived in the house, but authorities did not know if they were inside when it exploded. The other two people hurt were utility workers in the area at the time of the blast.

Search dogs were standing by Thursday night, waiting for the heat to subside. Firefighters used chain saws to cut through the rubble.

Mike Woolf, spokesman for United Cities Gas Co., said he didn’t know what caused the 3-inch steel gas line that serviced the home to break.

``The air rained white insulation for quite a while,″ said David Meditz, 40, who lives in the Kansas City suburb.

``If you’ve ever had a front row seat at the Fourth of July fireworks and had one go up 50 feet and explode prematurely, that’s what it was like,″ he said.

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