1 killed, several injured in gas explosion in Illinois town


CANTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say one person was killed and several people injured in a natural gas explosion in the central Illinois community of Canton.

Officials say the explosion Wednesday evening occurred near the downtown square and damaged several buildings. Authorities say the cause of the explosion hasn’t been determined.

Canton, with a population of about 14,000, is about 30 miles southwest of Peoria.

Authorities say 11 victims were taken to Graham Hospital in Canton. Fulton County Coroner Steve Hines said one of the victims — an employee of Ameren Illinois, a gas and electric company — later died at the hospital. One victim was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria with non-life threatening injuries.

The Peoria Journal Star reported the explosion occurred just before 6 p.m. in a building along First Avenue.

Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency has advised residents to avoid the area around the square.

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