Highway reopens a day after explosion

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Fireball erupting

Fireball erupting across Interstate 77 from a natural gas line explosion, Sissonville, West Virginia (West Virginia State Police photo/AP)

SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (AP) – Interstate 77 has reopened in both directions in West Virginia after crews worked through the night to repair damage from a massive natural gas line explosion and fire.

Tuesday’s inferno destroyed four homes and damaged others. It melted guardrails and left a huge swath of the interstate in Sissonville impassible. Nobody was killed, but several people were treated for smoke inhalation.

The interstate was reopened to traffic in both directions early Wednesday.

A roughly 800-foot section in both directions was baked by the heat.

Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox said crews had to remove asphalt and grind the roadway down to the original concrete before repaving.

Federal and state officials are investigating what caused the explosion.

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