Explosion, Fire Force Evacuation of Wyoming Town

Opal, Wyoming (USA TODAY) A small town in western Wyoming has been evacuated after an explosion and fire at a nearby gas-processing plant.

The blast rocked the town of Opal around 2 p.m. Mountain Time, and its approximately 100 residents were evacuated as a precaution, said Lincoln County, Wyo., spokesman Stephen Malik.

As of 5 p.m. firefighters believed they had the fire under control, Malik said.

"There's still no reports of injuries," he said. "The town of Opal is evacuated as a precaution."

Opal is about 2.5 hours east of Salt Lake City. Residents have been evacuated to an area about 3 miles outside of town. Two evacuation centers have been set up on the town's east and west sides. Like many small towns in the area, Opal lies tightly in a line along an east-west road.

Malik said the plant refines petroleum into gasoline and other products before sending them to the West Coast.

A spokesman for the plant run by Williams Partners LP said all employees have been accounted for.


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