Fires and explosions make headlines in the United States on a daily basis. Set a Google alert for the term “gas explosion” or “house fire,” and you will be inundated with updates.
Here is a sampling of just a few news items from around the country recently.
New Jersey home explosion kills 2
From the New York Post, July 7: Two people died in a fiery New Jersey home explosion in Newfield. Rescuers rushed to the scene in the Gloucester County town, near Philadelphia, around 6:23 a.m. and discovered the destroyed two-story home, CBS Philly reported.
The victims were not identified, but family members told CBS they were a couple in their seventies.
It’s unclear what caused the explosion, but officials suspect a gas leak. The force of the blast broke windows in nearby homes.
No foul play is suspected. The investigation is ongoing
2 injured in NC fire and explosion
From ABC11, Raleigh, July 6: Two people were injured at a fire and explosion at the RapidXChange propane center in Sampson County, NC.
Multiple agencies responded after a recommended evacuation.
The two injured people were airlifted to the UNC Burn Center. One firefighter was treated at the scene and released.
The Sampson County E-911 Center received a report of multiple explosions about 2 p.m. at the facility at 6280 Hobbton Highway in Clinton.
2 women dead in Indiana explosion
From NWI.com, July 5: A natural gas explosion is suspected in a fire that left two women dead in LaPorte, IN, officials said.
Lois K. Plotner, 72, died July 4 at a Chicago-area hospital after an explosion and fire just before 8 a.m. Tracy Swanson, 62, died the next day at University of Chicago Medical Center, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Both women had burns over most of their bodies. The cause of death is pending in both cases.
1 dead, 1 injured in Wisconsin home explosion
From the Green Bay Press Gazette, June 30: One person died and another was seriously injured after a home exploded in Oneida, WI. The blast, which could be felt miles away, occurred around 7:30 a.m.
Police believe a propane tank leak may have caused the explosion that leveled the home, damaged nearby vehicles and left debris scattered throughout the yard.
A female was discovered dead in the debris, while a man was found near a ditch with severe burns. He was flown to a Green Bay hospital and subsequently transferred to UW Hospital in Madison, where he was in critical condition.
The Oneida Police Department is leading the investigation while the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation are assisting in the case. “The incident is being treated as a criminal investigation until we find out all the facts and circumstances,” Oneida Police Chief Rich Van Boxtel said in a written statement.
2 dead in Texas hospital explosion
From KPRC-TV, June 27: Two construction workers were killed and 13 others injured after an explosion at a hospital in Gatesville, TX. A second victim
Michael Bruggman, 44, of Rogers, was killed at the explosion site on June 27. A second victim, Filiberto Morales, 36, of Round Rock, died two days later at Baylor Scott & White Temple Medical Center, police said.
Bob Harrell, the Coryell County emergency manager, said all of those killed or injured were construction workers.
The incident was reported about 2:30 p.m. at a construction site at a 25-bed hospital in Gatesville, 36 miles west of Waco. Witnesses said an electric generator inside an uncompleted hospital expansion exploded, spreading shrapnel.
The explosion caused part of the construction project to collapse, Harrell said.
The injured were taken to trauma centers in Temple 34 miles to the southeast, and those sustaining severe burns were airlifted 110 miles northeast to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Harrell said.