Gas Line Explosion in California Desert Destroys Equipment



Southern California authorities say nobody was hurt when a natural gas line caught fire and exploded, destroying heavy construction equipment in the western Mojave Desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The San Bernardino Sun reported blast was reported Sunday just south of Interstate 40, about 25 miles east of Barstow.

Ryan Vaccaro, spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department, says a crew of about 16 workers was evacuated before the explosion when somebody smelled a gas odor.

The newspaper says the blast destroyed equipment, created a crater in the ground and sparked a small brush fire.

The line belongs to Southern California Gas Co., according to spokeswoman Christine Detz. She tells the newspaper a drop in pressure within the transmission line preceded the explosion.

The cause is under investigation.