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Published July 24, 2011, 08:37 AM

3 injured in ND oil well explosion

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say two men were severely burned and another man suffered minor injuries in an oil well explosion near Beach in western North Dakota.

Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms says the fire started Sunday morning when natural gas ignited during drilling operations. Helms says the blaze will likely burn for about a week before it's under control.

Helms says two men were critically injured in the blaze and were flown to a hospital burn center in the Minneapolis area.

Helms says well fire specialists from Texas are slated to be on scene Monday morning. He says a protective dike has been built around the well to prevent any oil from escaping the site.

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