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Sauget sewer gas explosion sends manhole covers flying, damaging power line

Sauget sewer gas explosion sends manhole covers flying, damaging power line

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Police tape

SAUGET  •  A sewer gas explosion early this morning in Sauget sent several manhole covers flying, at least one of which damaged a power line and cut off electricity to a factory.

Sauget Police Chief Patrick Delaney said the village's sewer system lost power at around 5:15 a.m.

“During efforts to repair it, an electric line arced and that triggered a fire in the sewer system that eventually caused the explosion at around 7:50 a.m.,” Delaney said.

The electric lines damaged were in the 500 block of Monsanto Avenue, near the Afton Chemical plant. That road has been closed for hours but is expected to reopen by 2 p.m., Delaney said.

In turn, the power line damage knocked out electricity to the Eastman Chemical Co. plant.

Ameren Illinois crews are working to restore power in the area, the chief said.

An Afton worker was slightly injured in the explosion but refused medical treatment and remained on the job, Delaney said.

Paul Hampel is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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