Homes burn, road damaged after gas line explosion

SISSONVILLE, W. Va. (AP) — A section of interstate highway in West Virginia will remain closed for two days, after the roadway was damaged by a fire that also engulfed at least five homes.

An explosion in a natural gas line caused the hour-long inferno along Interstate 77 in Sissonville. No injuries have been reported, but firefighters were kept away from the homes until late afternoon by the intense flames.

One man who lives about a half-mile away says the sound was like "a turbine engine." A county official says flames were shooting 50 to 75 feet into the air.

Police said there was a slight risk of a secondary explosion, but people were told to stay inside their homes rather than evacuate.

%@AP Links

GRAPHICSBANK: Fireball erupting across Interstate 77 from a natural gas line explosion, Sissonville, West Virginia, West Virginia State Police photo on texture, partial graphic (11 Dec 2012)

APPHOTO WVCHW105: A helicopter files above flames from a gas line explosion across Interstate 77 near Sissonville, W.Va., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. At least five homes went up in flames Tuesday afternoon and a badly damaged section of Interstate 77 was shut down in both directions near Sissonville after a natural gas explosion triggered an hour-long inferno that officials say spanned about a quarter-mile. (AP Photo/Joe Long) (11 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO WVCHW105 (12/11/12)>>

APPHOTO WVCHG102: Flames burn from a gas line explosion near Sissonville, W.Va., Tuesday, December 11, 2012. At least five homes went up in flames Tuesday afternoon and a badly damaged section of Interstate 77 was shut down in both directions near Sissonville after a natural gas explosion triggered an hour-long inferno that officials say spanned about a quarter-mile. (AP Photo/The Charleston Gazette, Rusty Marks) (11 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO WVCHG102 (12/11/12)>>

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.