Explosion risk remains near Washington LNG facility: emergency responders

NEW YORK Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:25pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Officials are responding to a liquefied natural gas leak from a tank at the Williams Cos Ins LNG facility in Plymouth, Washington, where an explosion occurred earlier on Monday and another is still a possibility, a local emergency responder said.

Emergency responders are evacuating residents within a two-mile radius of the site to a shelter in Hermiston, Oregon, and established roadblocks on a nearby highway and an interstate artery, said Deanna Davis, a public information officer with the Benton County Emergency Management office.

The evacuations are 95 percent complete and emergency responders are draining the LNG before taking a closer look at the damage, she added.

A smaller tank exploded due to unknown causes at the facility earlier on Monday and shrapnel caused a leak on a larger tank nearby, Davis said.

(Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan)

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