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Identities released for 2 men killed in Collin County gas line explosion

The explosion was reported around 4 p.m. in the area of Farm to Market Road 2756 near Highway 78.

COLLIN COUNTY, Texas — Updated at 11:47 a.m. Tuesday with information from the Collin County Sheriff's Office.

Officials have released the identities of the two men killed Monday in a gas line explosion. Three others were injured in the explosion that happened in an unincorporated area of Collin County near Farmersville, officials said. 

The men were identified as 22-year-old Ethan Knight of Mesquite and 35-year-old Deric Tarver of El Campo.

Princeton and Farmersville fire departments, Collin County EMS and multiple other local law enforcement agencies responded to the explosion, which was reported around 4 p.m. in the area of Farm to Market Road 2756 near Highway 78.

According to the Farmersville police chief, the people involved in the explosion were contractors for Atmos Energy, not actual Atmos employees, who were servicing a gas line in the area when the explosion happened. 

The Collin County Sheriff's Office said Monday night the contractors were employees of Bobcat Contracting and Fesco Petroleum Engineering. Two of the people injured were taken to the hospital. 

Sheriff Jim Skinner said while the explosion appears to be an accident, he has invited the FBI to assist in the investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.

It's unclear at this time what caused the explosion.

Atmos released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"Our prayers are with those who were affected by the events in Farmersville, Texas today.  Out of respect for their privacy, we are not releasing any names or additional details at this stage. 

"Our highly trained technicians continue to work with the fire departments and emergency first responders to monitor the situation and make sure the area is safe.  Our number one priority continues to be the safety of the public, our employees, our contractors, and our natural gas distribution system."

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