Blast threw metal pieces 300 yards

JEFF BARNARD Associated Press Published:

Authorities say the explosion that hit a liquefied natural gas storage facility in Eastern Washington earlier this week threw 250-pound pieces of steel up to 300 yards through the air.

Benton County sheriff's Deputy Joe Lusignan said Wednesday that it was "a little bit of a miracle" that no one was killed.

The Monday blast inside a processing plant at the Williams Northwest Pipeline LNG storage facility outside Plymouth, Wash., injured five people, and left a big gash in the side of an LNG storage tank.

Meanwhile, Williams spokeswoman Michele Swaner says inspectors from state and federal regulatory agencies won't be able to go into the processing plant to learn more about what happened until a structural engineer makes sure the building is safe.

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