More than 10,000 people were briefly ordered to flee their homes Thursday after a massive gas line explosion shook the ground around their rural town.
Authorities said anyone within a four-mile radius of the explosion — including about 10,600 people in the town of Middleton — was told to evacuate while officials evaluated the extent of the blast, according to reports.
“EVACUATION NOTICE IN MIDDLETON,” the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office posted on X shortly after the blast.
“Our Sheriff’s Office is currently working to evacuate anyone within a 4-mile radius of Purple Sage Rd. and Duff Ln in Middleton due to a gas line explosion that occurred near the intersection a short time ago,” the post said.
Residents were told to “shelter in place” after authorities determined the gas line had been shut off and the evacuation order was rescinded in a reverse 911 call.
“We just got word that the gas has been turned off,” the sheriff’s office said in a follow-up post.
“The evacuation notice has been lifted. Anyone within a 4-mile radius is being asked to shelter in place at this time. Will provide additional updates as they become available.”
Area residents reported feeling “crazy rumbling” in the ground when the explosion went off Joe Decker, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office told reporters.
A video posted on Facebook on Thursday shows two plumes of smoke rising from behind a row of trees after the blast, with a constant hissing sound heard in the background.
The sheriff’s office said it had yet to determine if anyone was killed or injured in the explosion in the small southwestern Idaho community.
About 10 thousand people were evacuated in Middletown, Idaho, USA after a gas pipeline explosion and subsequent fire pic.twitter.com/0jtFenyl4l
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) October 12, 2023