Deadly Blast in Pennsylvania leaves 5 victims dead, including 4 children and 1 adult in Pottstown House Explosion

The death toll from the massive explosion that destroyed the Pottstown house has increased to five. Pottstown Borough Manager Justin Keller confirmed the additional fatality at a Friday news conference that 5 people died in a Pottstown House Explosion in PA. In addition, everyone that was previously missing has been accounted for as of Friday at noon.
Key Points | Pottstown House Explosion Updates
  • 5 people died in a house explosion in Pottstown, PA, on Thursday evening. The victims and their ages were identified as:
    • Tristan White – 8.
    • Nehemiah White – 10.
    • Jeremiah White – 12.
    • Alana Woods – 13.
    • Francine White – 67.
  • 2 others have been hospitalized – one is still in critical condition at a local trauma center while the other is undergoing surgery. The names and ages of the individuals are as follows:
    • Eugene White – 44.
    • Kristina Matuzsan – 32.
  • The property that exploded was a twin home with two single-family units.
  • The officials are still investigating the main cause of the blast.
  • Due to the explosion, all Pottstown schools are closed till Friday.

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Pottstown home explosion: what we know so far

Two homes on Hale Street were destroyed in a Pottstown house explosion, and at least six other homes were damaged due to the blast. The neighbors reported shaking and damage in their homes, including debris flying as far as a block away.

Most of the displaced families are staying with their friends or family. The American Red Cross is also assisting seven families, including 20 people, who have been displaced by the drastic explosion that occurred in Pottstown. Each family is assigned a caseworker who connects them with resources they can access as they recover. This also includes emotional support and assistance with medications that may need to be replaced.

As far out as a block from the site of the explosion, insulation fluff covered front lawns, trees, houses, and cars similar to the dandelion seeds. Closer to Hale Street, where the incident occurred, the area was strewn with debris, stray clothing, splintered wood, trash, and sneakers. It appeared to be a little more than a massive gnarled tangle of cinder blocks, wood, and construction material.

Pottstown’s Fire Chief Frank Hand said that the Pottstown house explosion was one of the worst he had ever seen.

The possible cause of the explosion is still unknown

Neighbors have stated that they have been smelling gas in the area as far back as 2008. Former residents of the ruined homes and neighbors claimed they had asked Peco to investigate, but Peco representatives said they couldn’t smell anything. One resident also said they had previously reported the smell of gas to the borough. Inspectors would come but would claim they didn’t smell gas.

The home that was destroyed had a propane tank inside that remained intact at the site after the explosion. The authorities said they did not know what it was for. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)  has contacted the propane vendor to identify.
Investigators, including the ATF and police, are working to identify the main reason for the blast. “While the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, it seems like the affected address and adjacent property are not recognized as Peco natural gas customers,” said the officials.

A spokesperson for PECO confirmed that the twin units were not Peco customers.
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