Utility Worker Killed in Gas Blast

Friday, November 18, 2016 @ 02:11 PM gHale

A natural-gas explosion Wednesday night in downtown Canton, IL, killed an Ameron Illinois worker, officials said.

The killed worker was part of a crew that was investigating a gas leak in a building at 45 East Side Square. At least 11 others required hospital attention.

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Fulton County Coroner Steve Hines identified the killed worker as 38-year-old Arturo Silva Jr., of Mapleton. Three other workers suffered injuiries, and two of them remained hospitalized Thursday, said Ameren Senior Vice President Ron Pate.

The explosion took place shortly before 6 p.m. The Ameren workers arrived about 5:30 following a report a contractor damaged a gas-service line, said utility spokesman Tucker Kennedy.

“The utility business is a close brotherhood, and our family is hurting right now,” Kennedy said about 10 p.m. during a news conference at the hospital.

“We express our deep sadness and our profound sympathies to the family of our fallen Ameren Illinois worker and ask everyone to keep their family and our family in their thoughts and prayers.”

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