Monday, April 21, 2014
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Gas Line Explosion Shakes Knifley Area

The aftermath of Thursday morning's explosion left workers scrambling to clean up the area well into the afternoon.

By Blake Spires
Asst. Editor

An early-morning gas line explosion beneath Ky. 76 in the Knifley community destroyed much of the road, damaged three nearby homes, and sent two residents to the hospital for treatment Thursday.

The explosion, which took place just before 1 a.m. Thursday morning, sent rocks and debris the size of small vehicles erupting into the air, according to Adair County Judge-Executive Ann Melton, and forced roughly 20 people to evacuate their homes.

Two residents injured in the explosion suffered the wounds as they tried to escape their burning home. The pair, a middle-aged couple whose names have not yet been made public, were treated and released.

“You can train and practice for this all you want, but it’s still chaos at first when something like this happens,” said Adair County Emergency Management Director Greg Thomas. “Our first responders did an outstanding job of getting the situation under control, however. The best part of it was that no lives were lost. That’s the number one priority.”

Fire Departments from Knifley, Breeding, Adair County, Taylor County, Dunnville, Clementsville, and Casey County responded to the situation, and were joined by the Adair County Sheriff’s Dept., Adair Search and Rescue, and the Lake Cumberland Territory Red Cross.

By roughly 8:30 a.m., the blaze was completely extinguished. Thomas said in a press conference Thursday morning at the Knifley Area Volunteer Fire Dept. that he hopes residents can be back in their homes by tonight.

“The goal is for tonight to be as normal a night as possible for them,” he said of those displaced by the explosion. “The wonderful thing is that a lot of times in areas like this, people rely on neighbors and family. That’s what happened here.” 

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