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JACKSON, Miss. -- At least two people have died in a gas line blast in Clarke County, Mississippi officials said.
A 42-inch propane line exploded at about 11 a.m. south of Meridian, damaging or destroying five homes near County Road 621.
A one-mile radius is being evacuated.
"What we see happened as far as this gas line, it must have leaked and leaked down into the bottom and then it had some ignition to start it. And it was a flash over, looked like at once," said county supervisor Tony Fleming. "And everything in its path got burned."
Ed Brown of the Mississippi Forestry Commission said the explosion and fire burned 150 acres of timber and pasture land.
Dixie Pipeline senior vice president Leonard Mallett said the company's gauges indicate the pipeline rupture was an immediate, catastrophic event, not likely the result of a lingering leak that went unnoticed. He said there was no evidence of tampering.
"This was an abrupt situation," Mallett said.