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The State

A spectacular explosion in a natural gas pipeline that produced flames visible for 30 miles caused “minimal damage” at the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve 10 miles northeast of Taft, director Joe Lagler said. Flames shot 100 feet in the air from one of the highest points on the reserve in the foothills on the west edge of the San Joaquin Valley, the Kern County Fire Department said. No one was injured. The fire started when an eight-inch high-pressure natural gas line ruptured, Lagler said. The explosion broke four smaller lines, and all five ignited a 20-acre grass fire. “There was a lot of fire and smoke, but from the reports, it was very minimal damage,” Lagler said. “I think we’re talking for the repair of the lines maybe $10,000.”


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