Gas Main Explosion Rips Through Philly Neighborhood
Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) crews were responding to calls about a gas leak, but the explosion occurred as they were beginning to work on the leak but after firefighters and PGW workers had evacuated nearby buildings.
One person was killed and six people were injured in the explosion, which was caught on tape by a tv crew that had responded to the call. 30 people were evacuated and the explosion was loud enough to be heard across the Delaware River in New Jersey.
Executive Fire Chief Daniel Williams said late Tuesday night that the body of a dead Philadelphia Gas Works employee was found at the scene of the explosion in 6900 block of Torresdale Avenue in the Tacony neighborhood.
PGW spokesman Cameron Kline said just before 11 p.m. that three of the PGW workers were in critical condition at Aria-Torresdale Hospital. Another PGW worker was in stable condition, as was an injured firefighter.
A second firefighter suffered minor injuries early Wednesday at the blast scene and was taken to a hospital to be examined.
The explosion occurred about 8:30 p.m. Kline said that a 12-inch gas main had exploded.
Alerted earlier to the smell of gas, firefighters and gas workers had cleared residents from homes in the area before the blast and were trying to address the leak to the gas line. A water main had also broken.