Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Child and four adults killed after home explodes and damages a dozen others

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Four adults and one child were killed after a home exploded in Pennsylvania.

A dramatic explosion in the quiet suburban neighborhood of Rustic Ridge shook the small borough of Plum, about 10 miles outside of Pittsburgh, around 10.22am on Saturday morning.

Footage from a neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the explosion, which completely demolished the house in about five seconds.

Plum Borough Police Chief Lanny Conley confirmed that five victims were recovered at the scene. They were only identified as four adults and one adolescent child.

‘Three rescues were made and transported to local hospitals,’ Assistant Chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services Steve Imbarlina said. ‘As of this time, two patients have been released and one remains in critical condition.’

Imbarlina also said that a total of 57 firefighters were treated by EMS at the scene for minor issues, including heat-related injuries.

‘Out of an abundance of caution yesterday, gas and electric was shut off to the bulk of that community,’ Imbarlina said. ‘As we speak right now, a plan is in place to restore those services.’

Imbarlina also confirmed that a fire marshal’s investigation into the origins of the explosion has now begun.

Peoples Natural Gas President Michael Huwar said the company shut off gas to the neighborhood by 11.30am and began conducting testing for gas leaks and

‘At this point, we can share that our system was operating as designed,’ Huwar said.

‘Please understand that this will be a slow and long process,’ Imbarlina said. ‘This investigation may last for months, if not years.’

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said it was a ‘sad, sad day and a sad time’ for the small town. However, Fitzgerald praised the citizens of Plum for showing up to support their neighbors and first responders over the course of the weekend.

According to the executive, Plum residents brought firefighters water and ice, then grilled hamburgers for the community.

‘It shows what people do in southwestern Pennsylvania when there’s these types of incidents,’ Fitzgerald said.

‘Lori and I are praying for family, friends, and neighbors who lost someone in Plum yesterday, and we’re grateful for the first responders who ran towards danger to save lives,’ Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said.

‘As you rebuild, we will have your back,’ Shapiro said.

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