Dallas interchanges reopen after explosion

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Interstates leading into downtown Dallas have been reopened after being closed for several hours following explosions at an industrial site. Mark Ball, public information officer for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Dallas district, said Thursday, July 26, that the I-30 and I-35 interchanges downtown were barricaded until debris could be cleared.

Dallas officials initially evacuated everyone in a half-mile radius of the explosion site, Southwest Industrial Gases at 538 S. Industrial Blvd. The 9:50 a.m. fire on Wednesday, July 25, which resulted in three injuries, was caused by a mechanical failure of pigtailed acetylene cylinders, officials said.

Southwest Industrial Gases is a welding and cutting supply plant and a gas and equipment distributor. A leak was discovered in 100,000 cubic feet of acetylene gas in individual cylinders in a trailer near the dock. The company owner and an employee brought out a fire hose, but before they could cool the tanks, a fire ignited.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared air quality acceptable, and Dallas hazmat crews blocked storm drains to keep the firefighters’ water out of the sewers.