Interstate 77 has reopened in both directions in West Virginia after crews worked through the night to repair damage from a massive natural gas line explosion and fire.
Tuesday's inferno destroyed four homes and damaged others. It melted guardrails and left a huge swath of the interstate in Sissonville impassible. Nobody was killed, but several people were treated for smoke inhalation.
The interstate was reopened to traffic in both directions early Wednesday.
A roughly 800-foot section in both directions was baked by the heat.
Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox said crews had to remove asphalt and grind the roadway down to the original concrete before repaving.
Federal and state officials are investigating what caused the explosion.
Original story from Tuesday
A section of interstate highway in West Virginia will remain closed for two days, after the roadway was damaged by a fire that also engulfed at least five homes.
An explosion in a natural gas line caused the hour-long inferno along Interstate 77 in Sissonville. No injuries have been reported, but firefighters were kept away from the homes until late afternoon by the intense flames.
One man who lives about a half-mile away says the sound was like "a turbine engine." A county official says flames were shooting 50 to 75 feet into the air.
Police said there was a slight risk of a secondary explosion, but people were told to stay inside their homes rather than evacuate.
Five homes are burning and a stretch of Interstate 77 in West Virginia is shut down after a major gas line explosion.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says flames are shooting 50 to 75 feet high. He says it's not yet clear whether anyone has been hurt.
Sissonville Fire Chief Tim Gooch says patients at a nursing home not far from the blast near Sissonville are safe.
Gooch says all the burning structures appear to be residential. He says the heat and fire are so intense that firefighters can't get close.
State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous says the blast occurred about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday. Crews are working to shut off the pipeline.
UPDATE: TV station WOWK reports that a nursing home near the site of the explosion was not damaged. Click here to read WOWK's story. WOWK also reports that a plume of smoke can be seen from Sissonville to Elkview and Clendenin.
West Virginia State Police say several structures are on fire and about a mile of Interstate 77 is shut down in both directions near Sissonville after a major gas explosion near Sissonville.
Sgt. Michael Baylous says it's unclear whether anyone has been hurt.
The explosion occurred around 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, and firefighters and other first responders were rushing to the scene. Kanawha County emergency officials said crews are working to shut off the pipeline.
Baylous said details are sketchy, but there is a nursing home near the site of the explosion along Tupper's Creek.
I-77 is closed at the Pocatalico and Tuppers Creek exits.
The Kanawha County Sheriff is also shutting down I-77 North at the intersection with Interstate 79. Traffic is being routed North on Interstate 79.
TV station WOWK is reporting that several homes are on fire. Click here to read WOWK's story.
Another TV station, WSAZ, is reporting that the explosion happened close to a nursing home. Click here to read WSAZ's story. WSAZ is now reporting that the gas line has been capped.