Man Injured In Natural Gas Explosion

A man working near DeBeque receives second-and third-degree burns in the first of two explosions at a natural gas compressor station today.

The first explosion happened at about 2:30 Tuesday afternoon in a compressor station above the town of DeBeque about one half mile from the high school.

Firefighters began treating the man, who is believed to be in his early 20's, before he was sent to St. Mary's Hospital for treatment of burns that are not believed serious.

The building was fully engulfed when one firefighter began shutting off gas so others could enter the building to fight the fire. Before they could enter the building another explosion ripped through the plant, sending flames shooting 80 feet high through a hole in the damaged roof.

The fire was put out in minutes, and no one on the two water tenders and three fire trucks from DeBeque and Plateau Valley were injured.

A gas compressor station raises pressure lost in transport through hundreds of miles of pipeline from gasfield to user. It is not yet known what caused the explosion at the station, which is owned by a subsidiary of Englewood–based Cantera Resources. This is the second explosion at a compressor station in recent days following an explosion at a station in Weld County last Sunday.