Explosion rocks Wisconsin town; at least 3 hurt

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Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in downtown Sun Prairie, Wis., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (AP)
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A large plume of smoke from a massive fire is seen in Sun Prairie, Wis., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Witnesses said the fire broke out after a loud boom Tuesday night shook the community. Police blocked off downtown streets from traffic and onlookers. (AP Photo/Todd Richmond)
Updated 11 July 2018
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Explosion rocks Wisconsin town; at least 3 hurt

  • Konopacki said the firefighters and officer were taken to a hospital

SUN PRAIRIE, Wisconsin: An explosion rocked the downtown area of a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin, after a contractor struck a natural gas main Tuesday, injuring at least two firefighters and a police officer, authorities said.
No deaths were immediately reported, and it wasn’t known if anyone else was hurt.
Police Lt. Kevin Konopacki said that around 6:20 p.m., firefighters and police responded to a reported gas leak in downtown Sun Prairie, a community of about 30,000. Witnesses reported the powerful blast about 7:15 p.m. It sent a plume of smoke and flames into the air.
Konopacki said the firefighters and officer were taken to a hospital. He said he didn’t know if anyone else was hurt.
WE Energies spokeswoman Cathy Schulze said the gas main strike was reported to the utility early Tuesday evening ahead of the explosion. She said the utility’s first responders were in the area working to shut off the flow of gas and make the area safe.
The blast appeared to be centered on the Barr House, a pub in an area filled with other bars, restaurants and businesses. Authorities evacuated a five-block radius and set up a shelter at Sun Prairie High School.
Steve Owen, 60, who owns Sun City Cyclery and Skates in downtown Sun Prairie, said he saw firefighters and police officers on the street and then the explosion happened. He said the building across from his shop “literally lifted up.”
He said the force of the blast knocked him back in his chair and that he ran outside and saw a ball of fire.
“People were scrambling,” said Owen, who lives above his shop.
Jill Thompson, 56, who lives about two blocks from where the blast occurred, said, “It shook the whole building. I thought someone had hit the building with their vehicle. We seen the smoke immediately.”
The area is about half a block from City Hall.


Roadside bomb targeting security convoy wounds 6 in Pakistan

Updated 54 min 54 sec ago
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Roadside bomb targeting security convoy wounds 6 in Pakistan

  • Bombing also damaged 10 shops in the busy bazaar in the town of Chaman in Baluchistan province near the border with Afghanistan
  • There was no immediate claim of responsibility

QUETTA, Pakistan: Pakistani police say a roadside bomb has exploded near a security convoy in the country’s southwest, wounding at least six people.
Local police official Mohammad Hakim says Friday’s bombing also damaged 10 shops in the busy bazaar in the town of Chaman in Baluchistan province near the border with Afghanistan.
There was no claim of responsibility, but small nationalist groups and separatists have been blamed for previous such attacks in Baluchistan, where Islamic militants also have a strong presence.
In Quetta, the provincial capital, separatists have staged attacks for years, demanding a larger share of provincial resources and wealth or complete autonomy from Islamabad.
Authorities say they have quelled the insurgency, but violence has continued.