Explosion at gas station injures 5

CANTWELL — Investigators were trying to determine what caused an explosion and fire that injured five people at a gas station near Denali National Park in Alaska.

The Chevron station and store were fully engulfed in flames when firefighters responded about 6 p.m. Sunday.

One of the injured, employee Gale Andersen, 61, of Cantwell, was flown to Seattle on Monday for treatment of “significant burns,” Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said in a news release. The others who were injured were taken to hospitals in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Another employee, Samuel Allan, 26, of Cantwell, was credited with repeatedly going into the burning Chevron convenience store to make sure everyone was out. He was later hospitalized.

Also injured were Judith Riley, 70, of North Pole, Mathew Atkinson, 43, of Fairbanks, and Allen Glore, 58, of Cantwell. Riley and Glore also were hospitalized, and Atkinson was treated at the scene, Ipsen said.

The convenience store’s windows were blown out in the explosion, and grocery carts and garbage cans were found beyond the gas pump island.

However, the gas tanks didn’t burn in the fire that consumed the convenience store, Ipsen said.

The fire burned all night and was extinguished Monday morning.

Cantwell is located just outside the eastern boundary of Denali National Park and about 175 miles north of Anchorage.

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