NEW VIDEO: Above is fairly early video just posted from our regular contributor Bill Rohrer at NewsWorking.org. Besides a neighbor’s cell phone video below, it seems to be the earliest close-up view of the operation.
According to relatives five people, including an infant, were killed in the apparent natural gas explosion in Allentown, Pennsylvania last night. The official death toll is at three. We’ve posted additional video from various sources.
A couple in their 70s and a 4-month-old were among those killed, Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said. The child’s mother and great grandmother were also killed, according to a family member.
The owners of a home destroyed at the epicenter of the blast died, their daughter-in-law confirmed this morning.
In all, the 10:45 p.m. explosion and ensuing fire destroyed eight row homes near 13th and West Allen streets in Allentown, city fire officials.
A UGI official said the gas company is investigating a cause for the explosion. The utility had been doing no recent work in the neighborhood, said Robert Beard, a UGI vice president.
Besides the eight homes destroyed, 16 were damaged. Heavy equipment was being brought in just after 8 o’clock as a backhoe dug for gas leaks behind the Halls’ home, where the blast originated. The house was obliterated.