2:37 pm UPDATE – Fire department crews reportedly extinguished the blaze shortly before 2pm but fumes still remain in the air. Paramedics and other emergency responders are currently going into homes and buildings to assess possible fatalities and injuries. One of the structure fire calls reported was at the Pocatalico Village Apartments at 2001 Teresa Lane in Sissonville.
Sissonville, WV – A massive gas explosion in West Virginia has shut down northbound lanes on I-77, according to WSAZ. Residents that have not been evacuated are being asked to shelter in place by local officials. Sissonville is a rural area which was recently been thrust into the national consciousness when Senator Joe Manchin began a campaign against MTV to halt filming on the Buckwild reality show set to take place in the region.
Several buildings are on fire and additional emergency responders have been called in to help, according to the Charleston Gazette. The highway shut down reportedly begins near the I-77/79 split near Charleston. All traffic has been diverted to I-79 North. Route 21 will reportedly be limited to emergency vehicle use only. Although the gas line does not belong to them the Mounaineer Gas company is helping with the incident.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper notes that emergency crews were called to a major gas line explosion shortly before 1 pm. The fire was reportedly along Teresa Lane in Sissonville. Fires have been reported in multiple locations in the area. The explosion reportedly happened close to the Cedar Ridge Nursing Home.
No injuries or fatalities have yet been reported as a result of the West Virginia gas explosion. Drivers going by the early after the 911 came in noted they could see flames shooting into the air.