Fatal Dixon natural gas explosion caused by human error

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DIXON, Ill. (AP) — Federal officials say human error caused a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed two men and left two others seriously injured in northern Illinois last year.

Sauk Valley Media reports that workers operating a tiling plow ruptured the high-pressure pipeline, causing the Dec. 5 explosion near Nachusa, about 95 miles west of Chicago. The workers were installing drainage tile.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration determined the owner of the land failed to contact the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators before beginning the project.

Fifty-nine-year-old Rory Miller of Amboy and his son, 30-year-old Ryan of Oregon, were killed. Kyler Ackland of West Brooklyn and Michael Koster of Sterling were injured.

The Millers had farmed the leased land for decades.

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