Massive Philadelphia explosion, fire kills PGW gas worker; injured 3 others

Philadelphia, PA— A massive explosion in the Tacony Section killed a PGW gas worker and sent four others to the hospital, including a firefighter. The deadly blast occurred on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, at 7:36 p.m. in the middle of Disston Street near Torresdale Avenue, reported NBC Philadelphia.

Fire crews were called to the scene around 7:20, because of an obvious smell of gas that prompted them to call in hazmat crews and police officers to assist. By 7:30, gas could be seen bubbling through the pavement. Suddenly the main exploded, sending flames and sparks into the air.

PGW workers were fixing both the gas leak and a water main that was possibly damaged due to pressure from the break in the 12-inch gas main when the blast occurred.

The body of an unidentified 19-year-old PGW worker was found after the fire was contained by firefighters. Three other PGW workers and one firefighter were rushed to local hospitals for treatment. The three gas workers are listed in critical condition at Temple University Hospital Burn Unit. The injured firefighter is in stable condition at the Temple University Hospital Burn Unit.

The blast and subsequent fire burnt down one building and partially destroyed another.

By 11 p.m., the fire was under control.

The explosion could be felt as far away as Palmyra and Pennsauken across the river in New Jersey.

PGW is investigating the fatal explosion.

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