Utility worker killed in Canton, IL blast identified

canton-il

CANTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities have identified an Illinois utility worker who was killed in a natural gas explosion as 38-year-old Arturo Silva Jr., of Mapleton.

Fulton County Coroner Steve Hines identified the Ameren Illinois worker on Thursday, a day after the explosion that rocked a downtown square in the central Illinois community of Canton. Several other people were injured in the blast, including three other Ameren workers.

Canton Police Chief Rick Nichols said at a news conference Thursday that a two-block area around the square is still blocked off. He says it appears a contractor damaged a gas line while digging and that the utility workers were called to the scene. The cause of the blast remains under investigation.

Nichols says the blast’s impact was “tremendous” and that it caused serious damage.