Monday, May 11, 2009

Natural Gas Up in Moscow Smoke

MOSCOW (AP) — A natural gas pipeline exploded in southwestern Moscow early Sunday, the Emergency Services Ministry said, sending flames soaring more than 100 meters (yards) into the sky.

Yevgeny Bobylyov, Emergency Services Ministry spokesman, said the pipeline exploded shortly after midnight and that a three-story building caught fire.

The flames lit up the low clouds and were visible from rooftops around the city.

Russian news agencies reported that at least three people were being treated for burns.

The Vesti-24 television channel carried live pictures of the fire and reported that parked cars were being removed within a radius of half a kilometer (550 yards) of the fire.

Residential buildings near the fire were also being evacuated, news agencies reported. The blast occurred near a gasoline station, they said.

(This version CORRECTS UPGRADES sourcing, ADDS details, corrects location to southwestern Moscow. For global distribution.)

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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