4 hurt, 200 evacuated in Wash. plant blast

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by Associated Press

KREM.com

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 31 at 1:21 PM

PLYMOUTH, Wash. -- Authorities say four workers were injured and about 200 residents were evacuated after a large explosion and fire Monday morning at a natural gas processing plant in the eastern Washington town of Plymouth.

Benton County Sheriff Steven Keane says the fire from the 8:20 a.m. blast has been put out.

He says the explosion sent a mushroom-shaped cloud towering into the air, and shrapnel punctured a liquefied natural gas tank. Some gas leaked but did not ignite.

Deputies went door to door throughout Plymouth, along the Columbia River, and evacuated people in a 2-mile radius.

Buses were provided for those without cars, and a shelter was set up across the river in Oregon at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds. As part of the evacuation, Highway 14 and railroad tracks were shut down.

Williams operates two liquefied natural gas tanks at Plymouth, which is across the Columbia River from Umatilla, Ore. Tri-City Herald reports Highway 14 through Plymouth is being closed.

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