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Opal Evacuated After Explosion At Nearby Gas Plant

A town in southwest Wyoming has been evacuated after an explosion at a nearby natural gas processing plant. The explosion at the Williams plant near Opal happened around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Lincoln County Emergency Management spokesman Stephen Malik said that as of 4 p.m. there was still an ongoing fire, but that gas has been shut off to the facility. In addition to the evacuation of Opal's hundred residents, highways 30 and 284 between Opal and Kemmerer have been shut down.

There have been no injuries reported and all plant employees are accounted for. Williams spokeswoman Michele Swaner says it’s not clear how long it will be until Opal’s hundred residents can return to their homes.

“We will obviously take care of any of those residents who have been evacuated, we’ll provide lodging for them," she says, "but typically it’s the incident command, [the] emergency responders that make the determination on when to release people to return to their homes."

The Opal plant processes 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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