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UPDATE 1-U.S. gas pipeline explodes in Missouri, no injuries reported

Friday, 29 Nov 2013 | 8:22 AM ET

Nov 29 (Reuters) - A U.S. 30-inch (75-cm) natural gas pipeline ruptured and exploded in Missouri early on Friday, with no injuries or fatalities reported, according to media reports.

A spokeswoman for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co said the accident occurred outside a compressor station near Sedalia, Missouri, television station KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri, reported on its website.

Witnesses said flames from the fire about 75 miles (120 km) southeast of Kansas City could be seen from miles (km) away, KMBC said.

Panhandle Eastern operates a 6,500-mile (10,500-km) natural gas pipeline system that supplies East Coast and Midwest markets with up to 2.8 billion cubic feet of gas per day, according to the company's website.

The Panhandle Eastern line supplies some of the largest industrial users and power plants in the Midwest with natural gas, the website said.

The Panhandle spokeswoman told CNN the cause of the explosion was under investigation and no injuries or fatalities have been reported, adding that gas supplies had been rerouted to avoid impact to deliveries to customers.

Spokespeople for the company and the Pettis County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment from Reuters.

Media reports indicate Panhandle Eastern shut off the flow of gas to the line and reported the fire on the pipeline was out around 2:30 a.m. CST (0830 GMT). Some homes have been evacuated as a precautionary measure, they said.