Residents Evacuated After Pipeline Explosion - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Residents Evacuated After Pipeline Explosion

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Tense moments for several residents nearby were evacuated from their homes Monday night.     

Hours after a pipeline exploded in Erie, the fire is out and the danger is over but neighbors say it was a night they'll never forget.  

"All of a sudden we heard an explosion, and I looked up and the whole sky was just fire," Mary Cobert says, "It lit up all of our yards like it was the sun coming up." 

"You could actually hear like a roar constantly, almost sounded like thunder," Gretchen Kruthoff says. 

Neighbors came out of their houses to a ball of flames spewing into the sky. 

"It was loud, and I just ran and just grabbed my phone, running out of the house," Angie Short says, "You could automatically feel the heat coming from it." 

Short lives right next to the field that caught fire. She says she woke up to a neighbor pounding on her door, grabbed what she could and left.  

"It was very scary, surreal, it was a bad dream," she says. 

Neighbors as far as a mile away had to pick up and leave with just a moment's notice, initially fearing the worst. 

"At that time we thought it was a house that had exploded so everybody was in kind of a panic," Kruthoff says. 

"Once we found it was a natural gas line, you still wonder, is it going to reach you? You don't know," Cobert says. 

Neighbors say they were told to leave within an hour and a half after the initial explosion.  

"When we left they told us it could be 24-48 hours before we could return," Cobert says, "It was very scary because I didn't know what that meant if they felt like it was going to reach our homes." 

They were able to come back hours later. Though the cause of this explosion is still unknown, many say they're not too worried about this happening again. 

"I don't think it'll happen again, it was just a freak accident," Short says. 

"I'm just very very thankful no one got hurt," Kruthoff says, "If it had been in the middle of a town, it could have really been tragic."

For more on this story, click here: Gas Pipeline Explosion in Erie, IL

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