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Sheriff: Oil Line Explosion Prompts Evacuations In NW Minn.

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WARREN, Minn. (WCCO) – Residents in some far northwestern Minnesota towns have been evacuated after an oil line explosion Monday morning.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a large fire just northwest of Warren, which is northeast of Grand Forks in Marshall County, at about 6:25 a.m. When officers arrived, it was determined that an underground natural gas line had ruptured and ignited a large fire.

“The flames were over 100 feet in the air so it was really something out there,” said Jim Duckstad, the county’s 911 coordinator. People who called in said it sounded like a jet engine.

Nobody was injured, but six or seven families living within two miles of the site were evacuated, he said.

Several agencies were called to the scene with assistance from the Minnesota State Patrol and Marshall County Emergency Management. Authorities said the gas line is owned by Viking Gas Transmission Company, which also has crews on the scene. Residents living within two miles of where the explosion took place were evacuated.

The gas line was shut down and the fire extinguished itself around 8:30 a.m., he said. Natural gas to the cities of Warren and Argyle may remain shut off for a couple days, Duckstad said.

Authorities are asking that people in the area stay away from the scene as the incident is under investigation.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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