A suburban town house development was devastated by an explosion after a gas leak. It claimed the life of one woman and injuring seven workers.? A day after, investigators decided to focus their investigation on the cause, identifying the victim and keeping the area secured so displaced residents could safely return.
After the blast last Tuesday, authorities thought there was no fatality until they discovered the body of a woman inside a car near the site of the explosion. Lt. Ron Lunetta said that they are waiting for the autopsy report to make a positive ID and determine the cause of death of the woman.
They were not able to ascertain if the victim was killed inside or outside a residence when the explosion happened Tuesday afternoon. No other person in the vicinity was reported as missing.
The police, fire and building officials immediately responded to the scene that Wednesday morning. The complex was observed to be littered with shingles while plywood and clumps of insulation were clustered in trees.
Authorities stated that most of the displaced residents were not able to go home until Wednesday morning. Some were being sheltered at a fire house, while others were staying with family and friends.
A news conference will be held by officials later Wednesday morning at Ewing Town Hall to provide updates.
Authorities were able to trace events leading to the explosion. It started when a contractor was sent to the place to replace electric service to the house that later blew up. Officials from the utility PSE&G said that later that afternoon, utility got a call that the contractor had destroyed a gas line.
PSE&G spokesperson Lindsey Puliti recounted that the crews were repairing the line but after an hour later, there was an ignition.
Due to the impact of the explosion, windows in an apartment complex nearby buckled, as narrated by neighbor Marsha Brown. She said it felt like a bomb as pictures from her walls started to fall.
She ran to the housing complex and observed one home engulfed in flames and saw two injured utility workers on the lawn that apparently included broken bones. She saw another worker injured on a sidewalk crying, being comforted by a woman.
There was one home reduced to a pile of blackened rubble while other damages were on windows that were blown out. There was debris widely scattered, with insulation hanging in some tree branches.
Trauma chief at Capital Regional Medical Center in Trenton, Dr. Louis D’Amelio reported seven utility workers injured but none of those injuries was considered life-threatening. Injuries were concussions, broken bones and minor shrapnel wounds. Two of the injured remained hospitalized but are in stable condition.
A spokesman for the utility said the damage to the pipeline caused a gas leak that could lead to an explosion, but the pipeline itself did not explode.
Accident victims have rights. If you were injured in a accident, contact an experienced injury lawyer now for free consultation and protect the rights of you and your loved ones. You may be entitled to financial compensation for economic damages, as well as pain and suffering.
Source: Philly Trib. Com?