Driver crashes into gas line near Detroit; sparks massive explosion, evacuations

Click to play video: 'Gas line fire in Michigan caught on camera' Gas line fire in Michigan caught on camera
WATCH: The gas line explosion forced residents of Melvindale, Michigan to evacuate. – Jul 2, 2016

An early morning explosion caused by a gas leak outside Detroit, Michigan forced the evacuation of more than a dozen streets and around 3,000 residents.

At about 2:30 a.m. a car crashed through the fence at the DTE Energy training facility in the Detroit suburb of Melvindale, according to a statement released by the company. The crash started a small fire which triggered the explosion.

The flames from the explosion could be seen as far away as the Michigan town Waterford, roughly 55 kilometres away and across the border in Ontario.

Shortly after the explosion, DTE Energy crews were on scene and turned off the gas line. Fire crews and emergency responders arrived shortly after.

“Police officers responded to the traffic crash and helped extricate the individual from the vehicle,” Melvindale police chief Chad Hayes said in a news conference.

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The driver of the crash was transported to hospital but his condition is not known at this time.

Hayes said drunk driving is not being ruled out as a factor leading up to the crash and acknowledged the driver had to drive a significant distance of the road to strike the gas line.

“This individual travelled a distance off the roadway,” Hayes said. “I’ve been here 25 years and no one has ever travelled that path.”

No other individuals were injured and the evacuation that stretched 18 square blocks has been lifted.


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