U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) released the following statement today after hearing about the devastating gas explosion in Sissonville.
"I am so very thankful to hear that there have been no fatalities reported at this time. My thoughts and prayers are with the people injured in today's explosion. Although it is truly devastating that so many buildings, structures and roads have been severely damaged, material objects can be rebuilt or replaced; lives, however, cannot.
"We are so grateful that our first responders rushed to the scene to make sure the devastation did not spread out of control. We congratulate you on your hard work, dedication and immediate response to such an alarming incident.
"As we continue to assess the damage that the explosion caused, it is encouraging to hear that the community is already working together to set up shelters, re-route affected traffic patterns, house neighbors who have lost power and make sure that people are directed to safe areas. West Virginians always come together, especially in difficult situations, and I know this instance is no different.
"To all of the families who have been impacted today, know that I am talking to the appropriate local, state and federal authorities. I am anxiously waiting to hear exactly how this happened and to make sure this will not happen again any place else in the state. My thoughts and prayers, along with Gayle's, are with the affected citizens of Sissonville and its residents today."