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Big Moscow explosion injures 5, cuts phone lines

  • Story Highlights
  • Five people injured when natural-gas pipeline exploded in southwest Moscow
  • About 100,000 left without telephone and Internet communication
  • Pipeline could have been damaged intentionally, a police source says
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(CNN) -- Five people were injured when a natural-gas pipeline exploded in southwest Moscow early Sunday, sending flames up to 300 meters into the air, a Russian state-run news agency reported.

The injured were treated for burns, a spokesman for the emergencies ministry said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

The fire destroyed or damaged utility lines, leaving about 100,000 customers without telephone and Internet communication, the Russian emergencies ministry said. The fire also damaged about 30 cars.

Twenty-five firefighting teams had been sent to the scene, but the fire wasn't expected to spread, RIA Novosti said.

The fire could be seen many kilometers away, but had not damaged residential buildings, the news agency reported.

The blast occurred soon after Victory Day celebrations that mark the surrender of Nazi Germany. The events included a fireworks show, RIA Novosti said.

The pipeline could have been damaged intentionally, a police source told the news agency. Bomb experts were expected to start investigating as soon as the fire was put out, which was expected to take a couple of hours, according to RIA Novosti.

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