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The Caledonian-Record
29 December 2000

Quebec Gas Explosion Rocks Border Region

EAST HEREFORD Quebec (AP) -An explosion ripped through a natural gas pipeline station just north of the Vermont-Quebec border Thursday evening. One man was hospitalized.

The explosion, which occurred just before 5:30 p.m., shook windows as far away as Colebrook. N.H., 15 miles south.

A firefighter with the Beecher Falls, Vt., Volunteer Fire Department said his department had sent about 25 people to the scene, which is about five miles north of Beetcher Falls.

Firefighter Gary Richardson, who remained behind to staff the Beecher Falls station, said emergency crews from the U.S. and Canada were trying to gain access to the building. He said it was believed at least one person was inside.

"Evidently the individual is trapped in there and they're trying to get equipment in there and get him freed up," Richardson said about an hour after the blast.

He added that there was "a lot of struc tural damage to the facility."

Canadian Press later quoted authoritie in Quebec as saying there were no fatali ties but one injury in the explosion. A worker at the gas plant taken from the plant to a nearby hospital.

Beecher Falls Fire Chief Henry Prehemo said later that the man hospitalize was a maintenance worker on the 2-year old pipeline, which is owned~by~a company called TQM in Quebec and by the Portland Natural Gas Transmission Systen after it enters the U.S. He said the mar was listed in fair condition.

Richardson said an alarm had sounded indicating a problem at the pipeline station at about noon Thursday.

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