1998 St. Cloud explosion

The 1998 St. Cloud explosion was a gas explosion that occurred in St. Cloud, Minnesota on December 11, 1998. A work crew installing a utility pole support anchor punctured an underground natural gas pipeline, causing the explosion. The blast killed four people, injured 11, destroyed six buildings, and caused an estimated $399,000 in damages.

1998 St. Cloud explosion
An aerial photo of the accident site following the explosion
DateDecember 11, 1998; 25 years ago (1998-12-11)
LocationSt. Cloud, Minnesota, U.S.
Non-fatal injuries11
An NTSB diagram of the accident site

An NTSB report on the incident faulted the safety and emergency practices of Cable Constructors, Inc., whose employees punctured the gas line, and the procedures and training of the St. Cloud fire department for responding to gas leaks.

Timeline of events

  • Approximately 10:15 a.m. - the CCI work crew punctures the underground gas pipeline
  • Approximately 10:51 a.m. - the CCI foreman contacts his supervisor to report the leak
  • 11:05 a.m. - the facilities director of the Stearns County Administrative Building places a call to the county chief deputy sheriff after investigating the gas smell and being told by CCI that the leak had occurred
  • 11:06 a.m. - St. Cloud fire department Engine Company 326 is dispatched to the scene, St. Cloud police units 9201 and 9202 are assigned to crowd control at the site
  • 11:16 a.m. - two NSP trucks arrive
  • 11:29 a.m. - an unknown source ignites the gas, causing the explosion



45°33′37″N 94°09′47″W / 45.56028°N 94.16306°W / 45.56028; -94.16306