Gas Facility Explosion - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Gas Facility Explosion

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Explosions that could be felt miles away rocked the Tioga area last night.

The blasts came from a natural gas facility located seven miles southwest of the town.

The Williams County Emergency Manager says the 9-1-1 phone lines lit up - just after this happened last night. This was captured by someone who posted the video on Facebook - showing one of the explosions at the Hiland Partners Sularian Station.

(Randall Pederson, Tioga Firefighter) "As we were responding as volunteer firefighters, you could see the big orange glow south of Tioga so we knew something big had happened."

Randall Pederson is a longtime volunteer firefighter in Tioga - he says the firemen not only knew it was big - they also figured out quickly that they could do very little about it.

(Randall Pederson, Tioga Firefighter) "We ended up staging our trucks about half a mile north of the incident site and the fire site. We've been in this a while so we knew when we arrived it was a fire we couldn't put out and we did not want to put it out anyway because of the natural gas. You just want to be able to burn it off for public safety and know what you're dealing with but we ended up subsequently just kind of watching it for about an hour and a half and after that we got in contact with company officials and they we could go home so we went home without squirting any water."

Workers from Hiland Partners shut off the supply to the high-pressure gas line, and the fire burned itself out. By morning, there was very little evidence of what had happened less than 12 hours earlier. The Hiland facility sits less than a mile from an historic site in North Dakota oil - the Iverson Well - the first oil well in the state is on a hill nearby. From this first well, the state has now grown to be home to nearly ten thousand producing oil wells. As well as a spider web of pipelines that carry oil and natural gas. Firefighter Pederson, and the Williams County Emergency Manager say accidents such as Monday night's explosion may be impossible to avoid as the industry continues to expand - but they are ready to respond to do their job.

(Randall Pederson, Tioga Firefighter) "Our basic role was to stay safe and keep the public safe and that's what we did."

There were no injuries reported in the incident.

Near Tioga, Jim Olson, KX News.

Investigators from Hiland Partners are expected to conduct the investigation into what caused the natural gas explosion.

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