Pipeline Fire Lights Up Sky in Whiteside Co.; No Injuries

ERIE, Ill. (AP) -- A fuel pipeline traveling underneath a western Illinois cornfield exploded, sending flames 300 feet into the sky and prompting dozens of evacuations.

Scott Melton is Erie's assistant fire chief. He says the massive fire was reported around 11:15 p.m. Monday after residents heard a blast. The towering flames could be seen for miles.

The pipeline was carrying a mixture of ethane and propane.

About 80 families living within a mile radius of the fire were evacuated, but by Tuesday morning all but two families were allowed back home.

Melton says crews are waiting for the remaining gas to burn off and says workers with the pipeline owner, Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners, were investigating what caused the fire.

No one was injured.

Erie is 27 miles northeast of Davenport, Iowa.

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