Fresno gas line explosion leaves several people injured, HWY 99 shut down

FRESNO, Calif. (KRON) — Authorities in Fresno say a construction crew hit a gas line and set of a large explosion that injured over a dozen people, at lease three critically.

The incident happened Friday around 2:30 p.m. at the Fresno County Sheriff’s gun range near Highway 99 in north Fresno. The blaze has shut down both directions of the freeway.

The CHP reported at 3:08 p.m. that the fire was brought under control and no damage was reported to Highway 99.

The Fresno Bee is reporting that county officials have confirmed that 14 or 15 people have burn injuries.

Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said that those injured were flown out by helicopter. One person appears to be critically injured.

According to Botti, a work crew using heavy equipment struck a gas line which ignited a huge fireball.

“Nothing was being dug at the time, that’s what makes this a head scratcher,” Botti said.

The CHP says drivers should use alternative routes, and it is unclear when the highway will reopen.

Update as of 6:30AM this morning- the number of those injured is 16.

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