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Westmoreland County Landfill Worker Injured In Explosion

BELLE VERNON, Pa. (KDKA) -- At least one person was injured in a reported methane pipe explosion in Westmoreland County this morning.

According to the county's emergency dispatchers, the explosion happened in a landfill off of Connor Road in Belle Vernon just before 10 a.m.

"I heard the fire whistle and saw the fire truck, but I didn't know where they were going," says Laverne Marchines.

Laverne Marchines lives close to the dump where officials say an explosion occurred, injuring a man who was doing routine maintenance on a methane gas line.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Methane is a natural by-product of decomposition of trash at landfills. The Westmoreland County landfill is equipped with various collectors that stream the methane to an on-site collection station.

The injured worker was taken to a hospital by way of medical helicopter. The company says the worker's injuries are non-life-threatening.

Crews are busy working to stabilize the area where the explosion took place. However, the landfill resumed operations around 10:30 a.m.

This incident comes after a fire broke out on the property over the weekend. The blaze was eventually put out by firefighters and heavy equipment on scene.

Marchines says her and others have dealt with methane concerns in the past. She says the smell of it can be overpowering at times.

"The smell is unbelievable," she says. "I don't like it, but what am I gonna do?"

The name of the worker injured and his condition this evening is not being released.

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