Witness to gas line explosion calls officers actions heroic

By Jeff Bernthal

MARYVILLE, IL (KTVI) – Maryville investigators say a massive fireball and multiple explosions were the result of a construction accident involving a natural gas line.  One worker was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon.  He was transported to a hospital, but his condition is not known.

“We determined that it was caused by a piece of equipment hitting the gas line,” said Maryville Fire Chief Kevin Flaugher.

The fire was at a construction site for a new neighborhood along Route 162, about a mile west of Route 159.

The fire departments credits Ameren Illinois for shutting off gas in the area quickly, allowing firefighters to douse flames that rose from construction equipment and workers’ cars.

The first police officers on the scene did what they could to help the injured worker.  One witness says the response from Maryville Police Officer Justin Krausz was heroic.

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