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Two people burned in explosion at W.Va. gas facility

Two people were burned when acetylene gas tanks exploded at an industrial gas distributor Monday in West Virginia, neither of them with life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Three people were at an Airgas Inc. facility in the rural town of Black Betsy, about 20 miles northwest of Charleston, when six tanks blew up, igniting a fire in the main building, NBC station WSAZ of Huntington, W.Va., reported. Two of the people were treated at Cabell-Huntington Hospital for first- and second-degree burns.



The fire was under control late Monday afternoon, and the site wasn't evacuated, Jason Owens, a spokesman for the Putnam County Office of Emergency Management, told NBC News. The cause of the explosion, which happened about 3 p.m. ET, wasn't immediately known, he said.

Acetylene is a flammable gas most commonly used in welding. WSAZ showed video showing thick black smoke billowing over the Black Betsy location, but Owens said the site houses no especially hazardous materials. 

Airgas is the largest distributor of industrial and medical gases in the U.S., with about 1,100 locations nationwide.

Zoya Khan of NBC News contributed to this report.

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