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Texas panhandle gas pipeline blast kills 2

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A natural gas pipeline exploded Tuesday in the Texas panhandle near the border with Oklahoma, killing two people, authorities said.

A total of three people have died in two gas pipeline blasts in as many days in Texas. One worker was killed on Monday near Cleburne, Texas, when a construction crew struck a buried pipeline.

Tuesday's explosion occurred when a bulldozer being used to remove caliche from a pit near Darrouzett, about 145 miles/230 km northeast of Amarillo, struck a gas pipeline, according to the Lipscomb County Sheriff's Office.

One worker was flown by helicopter to Oklahoma City for treatment. Two others escaped with injuries that were not life-threatening, the sheriff's office said.

Caliche is a calcium carbonate mineral used in the manufacture of Portland cement and to make lime for soil stabilization.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba and Bruce Nichols; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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