Authorities in northern IL say two men working on a farm field were killed and two others seriously injured in a natural gas pipeline explosion.
The call came in at 9:02 a.m. for an explosion north of Illinois Route 38, leading to a large fire.
Preliminary investigation shows farm workers were installing field tile in the area.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office and Illinois State Police are responding to reports of a large explosion near Nachusa. Workers used a second tractor to try to free the first but lost traction when the pipeline exploded.
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Two men died at the scene; the other two were taken by nearby residents to Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital, then transferred to OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, where one was in critical condition, and the other is in what Simonton said is stable condition. A second pipeline was not hit by the tractors.
One witness at the scene tells WTVO-TV a tractor hit a gas line there, creating the explosion.
Kinder Morgan still was on scene late this afternoon and will begin making repairs to the cross country transmission line after the National Transportation Safety Board signs off, said Dee Bennett, a company representative.
The Lee County Sheriff's Department will be holding a media briefing at 3 p.m. Eyewitness News will be there.
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