Video captures moment Pennsylvania house explodes, killing five


Horrifying video captures the moment a house was blown to smithereens in the US state of Pennsylvania, killing five people — including a 38-year-old man and his 12-year-old son — and critically injuring a sixth person.

The house on Rustic Ridge Drive in Plum Borough is seen in doorbell camera footage, obtained by WTAE, exploding in a giant fireball Saturday.

The cause of the blast is under investigation, with Allegheny County officials saying it could take months, the New York Post reports.

Plum Police Chief Lanny Conley said the Allegheny County medical examiner had determined four adults and one child died from the explosion in the Rustic Ridge Estates neighbourhood.

Two of the five dead victims have been identified as Casey Clontz and his son, Keegan, local paper The Trib reported.

Meanwhile, 57 firefighters were treated at the scene for minor issues, including heat-related injuries, Steve Imbarlina, assistant chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services, said.

At least two other homes were also destroyed and about a dozen others were damaged in the blast in the Pittsburgh suburb about 10.30am on Saturday, local time, officials said.

Mr Clontz and son Keegan, who lived on nearby Brookside Drive, were at the house at 141 Rustic Ridge Drive when it exploded, the family told The Trib.

It was unclear what they were doing there, though the family said Mr Clontz was very friendly with the neighbours.

Mr Clontz, who worked for gas supplier Peoples Gas, was an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL and “a football and gymnastics dad”, while Keegan, a member of the Plum Mustangs youth football team, was about to begin junior high, the outlet said.

“Keegan and Casey were their most happy when they were spending time at the lake with their lake family and friends. They swam, did boating and loved cruising around in their golf cart,” the family said.

“Keegan and Casey will be missed by so many and will continue to be loved by so many including their family, friends, and community,” the statement added.

Casey and his wife, Jennifer, whom he met in seventh grade, married 14 years ago. They also have a daughter, Addie, 10.

The three other people who were killed have not yet been identified.

Two people have been released from the hospital, while one was listed in critical condition, Mr Imbarlina said, adding that the cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

“There will be lots of forensic testing to be able to tell anything one way or another. This investigation may last for months if not years,” he said.

The president of Peoples Gas said his crews got to the neighbourhood within 15 minutes of the blast.

“We immediately began checks in the area for leakages, including smell checks and testing for gas underground and in the air,” Mike Huwar told WTAE.

“We also verified consistent pressure at tour regulation stations. At this point we can share that our system was operating as designed,” he added.

Residents of the neighbourhood are seeking answers about the deadly blast.

“This isn’t the first time that this has happened in Plum,” neighbour Justin Newman said.

“We need to know why this is happening. It’s sad that people lost their lives and we don’t have answers. We need answers for these families, we need answers for this community.”

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro expressed his sorrow over the tragedy.

“(Wife) Lori and I are praying for family, friends, and neighbours who lost someone in Plum yesterday, and we’re grateful for the first responders who ran towards danger to save lives.

“The five Pennsylvanians who passed and their families are in our thoughts today. May their memories be a blessing,” he wrote.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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