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Home / Today's News / Gas line explodes at Belvidere, Ill., plant (6:28 p.m. 12/7/09)

Gas line explodes at Belvidere, Ill., plant (6:28 p.m. 12/7/09)

BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — A gas line explosion rocked a technology plant in northern Illinois Monday, sending trembles through buildings as far as a mile away. One man was injured by flying shrapnel a quarter mile away, authorities said.

Belvidere police said the gas line exploded Monday afternoon at the NDK America, Inc. plant, which makes synthetic crystals for computers.

“It sounded like a traffic accident — a boom,” said Greg Brown, a school district official in the community of about 20,000 residents about 20 miles south of the Wisconsin state line. “We thought someone dropped something on the roof. It was like a little earthquake.”

A man putting gas into his vehicle at a I-90 tollway oasis was apparently hit by shrapnel, but it appears nobody at the plant was injured, Belvidere Mayor Fred Brereton said.

Jim Fealtman, a regional sales manager at NDK America’s office in Webster, Mass., the company’s other U.S. location, confirmed that no one was injured at the Belvidere plant at the time of the blast, but had no other information.

Three sides of the NDK building in Belvidere collapsed in the blast, WIFR-TV in Rockford reported.

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