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Utah Pipeline Blast Damages Roadway

December 4, 1998

MOAB, Utah (AP) _ The main highway to the recreation mecca of Moab was closed after a fuel pipeline exploded Thursday, hospitalizing a worker and damaging U.S. 191.

Traffic was being rerouted to a state road until crews could repair the singed pavement, expected be completed Friday.

Construction crews for pipeline owner D. Williams Companies were digging to install a new pipeline when they apparently cut a gash in a parallel pipeline carrying natural gas liquids, police said.

Workers scrambled behind a nearby hill for cover as a blast blew trucks across the road and sent a mushrooming fireball nearly 100 feet into the air, said Sgt. Darrell Mecham of the Utah Highway Patrol.

Three workers were treated and released for minor injuries and another underwent surgery for internal injuries and was in stable condition Thursday in a Moab hospital.

Moab, famous for its slickrock desert bike trails, is about 194 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

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