Lincoln County

Erica Peterson

The natural gas explosion that killed one and injured six near Danville, Kentucky left behind a crater 50-feet long and 13-feet deep.

The concussive force from the blast was so great, federal regulators shut down two nearby pipelines to inspect them for damage. In the explosion’s wake, flames as tall as 300 feet scorched homes, railroad tracks, trees and vegetation for 30 acres around the site.

Investigators have not yet found the cause of last week’s explosion, but the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released its preliminary findings in a corrective action report Thursday.

Erica Peterson

A regional gas pipeline ruptured early Thursday in Kentucky, causing a massive explosion that killed one person, hospitalized five others, destroyed railroad tracks and forced the evacuation of a nearby mobile home park, authorities said.

The 30 inch wide pipeline moves natural gas under high pressure, so the rupture at about 1 a.m. caused a tremendous amount of damage in the immediate area, authorities said. Firefighters were still working to douse the flames hours later, with trucks repeatedly refilling their tanks and returning to the scene.

Lincoln County Democratic Party

T.J. Hill, a longtime police officer in Stanford who was set to become mayor of the Lincoln County town in January, was found dead at his home Thursday.  The cause of death remains under investigation, but police tell the Advocate-Messenger foul play is not suspected.

Hill defeated incumbent Bill Miracle earlier this month. He was set to take the oath of office Jan. 1

An autopsy is scheduled to take place Friday in Frankfort.