Pennsylvania Pile Line Fire Finally Dies Out

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- An underground pipeline fire that forced 43 families from their homes near Allentown burned itself out Friday, more than 72 hours after it began.

The fiery explosion began at dawn Tuesday, producing 75-foot flames and sending a plume of black, oily smoke into the sky.

The fire died out about 11:30 a.m. Friday after the line was tapped about a half-mile north and the remaining gasoline was vacuumed out, officials said.

Officials hoped the last nine families displaced could return to their homes by Friday night. No injuries were reported. The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined.

Exxon/Mobil operates the transmission pipeline, which carries refined gasoline from a Paulsboro, N.J., refinery to customers in Pennsylvania and northern New York.

The explosion occurred at the intersection of the 8-inch main pipeline and a 6-inch offshoot that runs east into Allentown.

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