Pennsylvania authorities rule out utility natural gas in blast that killed 5 people
State investigators have ruled out a utility’s natural gas involvement in the explosion that leveled a home in northwest Philadelphia last year, killing five people – including four children – and injuring two others.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said Tuesday there was no evidence the natural gas utility contributed to the May 26 explosion in Pottstown. Investigators said PECO did not supply gas to the house and the nearest gas line was near the sidewalk at the top of the house.
“The focus of any further investigation remains on the interior of the residence, but that is outside the purview of the PUC,” the report said.
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“An individual propane service, which is not under the jurisdiction of the PUC, was observed at the rear of the building,” the commission said. AmeriGas had said one of its propane tanks was in the house in question.
The blast killed Francine White, 67, Alan Wood, 13, Jeremiah White, 12, Nehemiah White, 10, and Tristan White, 8, authorities said.
Earlier this month, a fire destroyed two homes that had been damaged by the blast. The cause of the March 21 fire has not been announced, but firefighters said the two events were unrelated.