Tribune: Gas Blast Erupts into 'Roaring Fireball' in Lewiston Monday


Gas explosion rocks downtown Lewiston November 19.
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  • Gas explosion rocks downtown Lewiston Nov. 19.

Downtown Lewiston was rocked Monday when a natural gas explosion shot flames 100 feet into the air.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that city officials were planning to meet today with contractors to assess the damage.

The Tribune reports that an excavator was installing new storm drain equipment when the excavator's bucket struck a 4-inch gas line at approximately 1:35 p.m. on Monday. The gas pressure—estimated at 300 pounds per square inch—shattered the excavator's windshield in a blast that rocked the area. A few moments later, the gas ignited into a "roaring fireball," according to the Tribune.

The excavator was completely destroyed and is expected to be pulled from the rubble today.

Downtown businesses, including the Lewiston Tribune and the Capital Financial Center, were evacuated following the incident.