NTSB will investigate deadly house explosion in Lancaster County

MANOR TOWNSHIP, Lancaster County, Pa.--  A house explosion in Lancaster County killed one person and sent three others to the hospital on Sunday.

Utility crews were at the home on the 200-block of Springdale Lane, investigating a reported gas leak, when the home exploded. One UGI worker was killed, two of the victim's co-workers were injured, along with a PA One employee.

Officials say the blast happened a half an hour after the homeowner was evacuated. The home is now leveled and  the neighborhood is in shock.

"There was a beautiful house there and there's nothing there. There's nothing there. It's gone," said Brian Chang, who lives nearby.

A neighbor reported smelling natural gas while walking through the Springdale Farms Neighborhood just before noon. UGI workers came to the scene to the scene to investigate a possible gas leak.

"Jump up, ran into the garage, put my shoes on, and then the explosion hit. It was massive. It's hard to describe how hard that was. It shook the garage door like seven inches," Chang said.

"I just saw pieces of plywood and roofing and everything just go flying, huge cloud of smoke and ash, it felt like a movie, just surreal," said neighbor Tyler Foultz.

Four homes located next to the house that was destroyed have been condemned until further notice.

"There's this stuff by the windows that got knocked over. But everything at my place is okay. The garage doors flexed so much, they pushed over a planter I had up next to the garage doors. That's how hard the door flexed," Chang added.

Officials say they will check each home before the utilities are turned back on.

"Very traumatic event what should be a happy holiday weekend," said Chief Duane Hagelgans, Fire Commissioner with Blue Rock Fire & Rescue.

In a statement, UGI said, "UGI is saddened to announce the tragic death of one of our coworkers who was killed in an incident at Springdale Lane, Manor Township.

Three UGI employees were responding to a gas odor call on Sunday, July 2, 2017 when an explosion occurred. One employee was killed and two employees were injured in the explosion.  The two injured employees are hospitalized but are expected to fully recover.

The cause of the incident is under investigation and UGI is working with regulatory officials, fire and emergency responders to learn more about the cause of the explosion.  As part of this effort, UGI crews have shut off natural gas to the affected area and are performing enhanced leak detection surveys to ensure the area is safe.

The entire UGI family is deeply saddened by this tragic event.  Our thoughts are with the family of our fellow employee who lost his life as well as our employees who were injured, and their families. UGI is working through our employee assistance program to provide grief counseling to employees and employee family members, as well as the American Red Cross to provide assistance to individuals affected by the incident."

The National Transportation Safety Board is spearheading the investigation, along with assistance from the Public Utilities Commission.