More than 10,000 people are evacuated from rural Idaho town after gas line explodes


More than 10,000 people are evacuated from rural Idaho town after gas line explodes

  • Canyon County Sheriff’s spokesperson Joe Decker said he did not yet know if any injuries were reported in connection with the explosion in Middleton  
  • The sheriff said people within a 4-mile radius of the explosion – including the town of 10,600 – were ordered to evacuate while cops evaluated the situation
  • The evacuation order was lifted a short time later after the sheriff confirmed the gas to the line had been shut off, and residents were directed to ‘shelter in place’ 

An Idaho town of about 10,000 people evacuated residents Thursday after a gas line exploded at a nearby intersection. 

Authorities ordered evacuations for most of the town of Middleton as a result – with local sheriffs later saying they did not yet know if any injuries were reported in connection with the explosion.

Canyon County Sheriff’s spokesperson Joe Decker said people within a 4-mile radius of the explosion – which includes the small town – were ordered to evacuate, as authorities for about an hour turned motorists away from the then-at-risk area.

The order has since been lifted – pulled after cops confirmed the gas line had been shut off around 11:40am. At that point, residents in the town of 10,6000 were advised to ‘shelter in place’ instead.

Footage shows the explosion’s aftermath – after it reportedly a series of rumbles to reverberate for multiple miles. A series of elementary schools were also in the area, but were not emptied and have since resumed class, instructors said.

The order has since been lifted - pulled after cops confirmed the gas line had been shut off. At that point, residents in the town of 10,6000 were advised to 'shelter in place' instead

The order has since been lifted – pulled after cops confirmed the gas line had been shut off. At that point, residents in the town of 10,6000 were advised to ‘shelter in place’ instead

Social media accounts for the Canyon County Sheriff alerted residents as it happened – as smoke was still seen billowing from the rural road where the blast occurred.

‘EVACUATION NOTICE IN MIDDLETON’, the department’s initial warning, aired at 11:20am local time, read – before revealing officers were ‘working to evacuate anyone within a 4-mile radius of Purple Sage Road and Duff Lane.’

Within the hour, the sheriff’s office shared an update stating the gas had been shut off – and that the order, while brief, had been lifted.

‘Anyone within a 4-mile radius,’ officers said. ‘is being asked to shelter in place at this time.

‘Will provide additional updates as they become available.’ 

The statements did not specify what spurred the leak or explosion, though authorities in the area – including officers from nearby Ada County – were on the scene around noon.



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