Clipped From The Express
Blast hurts LH worker KANE, Pa. (API-Telephone service was restored to most of this McKean County community early today following a natural gas explosion that critically injured one Lock Haven man and knocked out phone service for several hours. Natural gas seeping into an excavation tunnel was ignited by a welder's torch Tuesday, authorities said, touching off the explosion. The blast took place at a highway relocation area near here, where utility lines were being moved to make room for the expansion of Pennsylvania 321, a major road into the Kinzua Dam project. Fire officials said a coupling on a four-inch line apparently had worked loose, allowing gas to escape just inches from where James Kennedy was welding another section of pipe. Kennedy, 45, scrambled from the hole and rolled in mud to douse the flames which had engulfed engulfed his body. He was taken to Kane Community Hospital where a spokesman said he was in guarded condition. Kennedy and four other Hoy Pipeline Co. employes were shifting gas lines and had been forced to tunnel down to an area where new connections were to have been made. The blast severed main underground underground telephone cables, cutting off teletype and phone services to thousand of persons living in this north central Pennsylvania area for several hours.