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Gas Station Blast Injures Five in Alaska

APAlaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A fire that burned a gas station near Denali National Park was apparently started by an explosion inside the convenience store, Alaska State Troopers said.

Trooper Sgt. Mike Roberts told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/nNAcSV ) the cause of the explosion has not been determined.

Three people were taken to hospitals with burns and injuries from the blast. Two others had minor injuries.

The Chevron station and store were fully engulfed in flames when firefighters responded about 6 p.m. Sunday.

The area around the station was cordoned off as a precaution against a gasoline or propane explosion.

"Basically, they're sealing off the area, not letting anyone in, making sure it's clear of people," Roberts told The Associated Press.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported later that the fire fighters were able to keep the flames away from the gasoline tanks and the propane tank, and by 10 p.m. the blaze had greatly diminished.

Roberts said crews were to be on the scene all night putting out the smoldering fire.

Two people were hospitalized with burns and another with head and back injuries, Roberts said.

The News-Miner reported that high winds caused problems for the firefighters.

Roberts said investigators would be on the scene through the night and state fire marshals would respond in the morning.

Cantwell is located just outside the eastern boundary of Denali National Park and about 175 miles north of Anchorage.

___

Information from: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com



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