EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSPIPELINE EXPLOSION
from Eyewitness News Online
Survivors Describe The Terrifying Blast In Sissonville
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Dec. 12, 2012 7:14 PM EST
Sissonville , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Five homes were leveled by the gas line explosion in Sissonville on Tuesday. Fortunately, no one was inside those houses when the blast hit but several homes on the perimeter of the blast suffered damage and people were inside of those. A day after the destruction, they were back in their damaged homes, describing what they call a terrifying experience.
"Just boom, and everything started shaking," Diana Burgess says. She lives right beside the blast site. She says she didn't know what was happening. When the explosion happened, her windows broke and large rocks starting coming through the ceiling of her trailer. She says when she looked out her front door, all she could see was a wall of fire.
"I didn't know what was going on, I was running back and forth through the trailer and I touched the door knob and it was hot," Burgess says.
She says she frantically tried to find her two dogs, and with them, they escaped out the back door.
"I finally made it out, got my animals, got the the guardrail and the heat, you could feel it, it was so intense and I just collapsed," that's when Burgess says two men came and pulled her and her dogs to safety.
Jeff Edens was one of the men who saved her. He says he thought an airplane had crashed so he rushed to the scene and that's when he saw Burgess.
"She seemed like she was just in a daze when we found her," Edens says. "She was just lucky to get where she was."
Others recount similarly frightening stories. The intense heat from the fire melted the siding on Sue Bonham 's home. The explosion destroyed her daughter's house next door. Bonham says she didn't know where to run and was preparing to seek shelter in her backyard pool.
"Thankfully they (firefighters) were able to come through the corner on the other side down here and came through and rescued me, I thought I was going to burn up alive, I really did," Bonham says.
No one was seriously hurt in the fire and now as the smoke settles and people assess the damage, they're counting their blessings.
"I thank God for sending his angels and watching over us all," Burgess says.
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