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Official: 7 Hurt In Houston-Area Gas Plant Blast

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Firefighters try to extinguish a propane gas fire. (Photo by JOSE RODRIGUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Firefighters try to extinguish a propane gas fire. (Photo by JOSE RODRIGUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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CONROE, Texas (AP) — An explosion and fire tore through a Houston-area propane gas plant on Tuesday, injuring seven workers before the blaze was extinguished, a fire official said.

Helicopters took two of the workers at the AmeriGas plant in Conroe to hospitals, and the other five were driven to hospitals in ambulances, Montgomery County Assistant Fire Marshal Scott Burlin said. He didn’t know the extent of their injuries.

Burlin said the explosion happened around noon on the assembly line at a plant, which fills tanks for gas grills. AmeriGas is the nation’s biggest propane distributor. The fire was put out in about 20 minutes and didn’t spread outside the plant, which is in a mostly rural area, he said.

Bill Katz, a company spokesman, said the injured were either AmeriGas employees or contract workers.

Burlin said an investigation is under way, and state and federal authorities have been notified.

“We don’t believe it’s anything other than an industrial accident,” Burlin said.

Katz said the company, based in King of Prussia, Pa., is monitoring the injured workers’ medical care and cooperating with the authorities.

He said the publicly-traded company employs about 9,000 people nationwide.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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