November 25, 2014 / 10:41 PM / 5 years ago

Explosion injures five Memphis utility workers, three critically

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - An explosion injured five Memphis utility workers, three of them critically, on Tuesday while they were working on an underground gas line, fire officials said.

The Memphis Light, Gas and Water workers, aged 34 to 44, were repairing a gas leak in a hole in the street at the time of the accident, said Memphis Fire Department Lieutenant Wayne Cooke.

Four workers suffered burns, three of whom were hospitalized in critical condition, Cooke said. A worker with minor burns and a worker who went into shock has been treated and released from the hospital.

Cooke declined to release the workers’ names because relatives had not yet been notified.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water spokesman Richard Thompson said the company was investigating the cause.

“I believe there was a spark and it led to an explosion,” Thompson said. “What exactly happened, we are still trying to determine.”

Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Mohammad Zargham

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