MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – A gas pipeline exploded Tuesday morning in Collin County, sending massive flames and thick smoke high into the sky. The incident happened just after 8:30 a.m. near the intersection of Highway 121 and Highway 5 in McKinney. A hazardous materials team from Plano was the first to respond to the scene.
According to Stacie Durham with the McKinney Fire Department, the explosion happened in a construction zone located along the highway, where six workers were laying down pipe. Witnesses said that construction equipment may have struck the gas line, and some construction vehicles could be seen burning along with trees.
The explosion sent a huge fireball into the sky and four people to the hospital. The injured were transported to Medical Center of McKinney, less than half a mile away. The extent of those injuries is not known. No homes are located in the area, so there were no evacuations.
The 70-mile pipeline belongs to Dallas gas company Atmos, but the company offered no additional details about the explosion. Crews turned off the gas line and the fire died down. Power was also shut off in the area, but a backup generator kept some nearby businesses up and running.
Several area roads were shut down and traffic was diverted as crews continued battling the fire.
Highway 5 was reopened by afternoon but fire crews were still on scene dousing hot spots.
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