10 Years Since Hutchinson Gas Explosions

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Monday, January 17, 2011

It's been 10 years since a gas explosion destroyed parts of downtown Hutchinson leaving investigators baffled.

January 17, 2001 a blast and fire destroyed two downtown businesses, and shattered the windows of at least 25 other buildings. Fire crews poured thousands of gallons of water on the fire, but it wouldn't go out. Later that day geysers started erupting all over town. Colleen Buggeln was in Decor Party Supplies when the building exploded.

"I was in the office and I heard a rumble, and I looked up and the ceiling started falling in, and that's the last I remember," said Decor Party Supplies Manager Colleen Buggeln.

The next day a second explosion hit the Big Chief Mobile Park killing two people. It took investigators many days to find out a gas leak had migrated to underground caverns under Hutchinson.

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