Canton, IL -- A natural gas explosion at the Opera House Professional Center killed one person and injured several others.
The explosion happened Wednesday near the downtown square. It damaged several buildings, shattered windows several blocks from the explosion site, and caused the evacuation of neighboring residents.
Jill Billefeld, a psychiatric nurse, reported that she was eating at a local bar a block from the explosion when she heard "the biggest kaboom I have ever heard in my life." She went on to say, "Everyone jumped. The door where I was sitting blew open."
The cause of the explosion is not yet known. It happened near 6pm, shortly after a report came in that contractors damaged a gas line.
Ameren Illinois said, "The crew squeezed off the gas and was in the process of making repairs when the explosion occurred. We are investigating the cause of the incident and have no other details to report at this time."
Authorities reported that eleven victims were taken to the hospital. One of the victims died at the hospital. He or she was not identified other than an Ameren Illinois worker.
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