Five people were killed in an explosion at a natural gas storage facility in Georgia, officials said.
The blast occurred at the company’s facility in the state’s southern part on Monday, the state Department of Natural Resources said in a statement.
The facility is one of four owned by the Georgia Power Company, the agency said.
The facility’s owner, the company, confirmed the incident to CNN.
Georgia Power has about 1.4 million residential customers in Georgia.
The company had been working with state and local authorities on the investigation, the statement said.
Nathan Deal called the blast a “heartbreaking loss” to the state.
He expressed condolences to the victims and their families.
“This is a terrible loss for Georgia and a loss to our state,” Deal said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those affected by this terrible accident.”
Georgia Power said in an emailed statement that it is “aware of the incident” and is in touch with the victims’ families.
It said it is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Georgia has been experiencing a gas shortage for several months.
The state last month declared a gas moratorium to help keep the state supplied with natural gas.
Georgia is one the last states in the country without a federal gas supply, as well as one of the last to shut down production from shale gas wells.
The Georgia Public Service Commission said Monday that the natural gas facility is the largest in Georgia and has more than 1.2 million natural gas tanks.
Georgia Public Service said the facility’s owners, Georgia Power, have notified regulators of the explosion.