Columbia Gas has detected gas leaks in the Madison Township, Ohio neighborhood where a house exploded on November 6 killing Shelly Williams and injuring Stewart Bell. State investigators said preliminary findings indicated that the deadly explosion was related to a natural gas leak.
— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) November 9, 2017
Shelly Williams, 54, and Stewart Bell, 59, were both inside the house located in the 3300 block of Everson Road East when it exploded around 4:00 a.m. Both were taken to OSU Wexner Medical Center where Williams later died. After being treated for injuries he sustained in the explosion, Bell was released from the hospital November 7.
“I lost everything I own and my girlfriend,” Bell told The Columbus Dispatch. “I wish it had been me instead of her.” Bell and Stewart had known each other for 27 years.
Neighbors said they has smelled gas outside the home prior to the explosion. Crews from Columbia Gas detected leaks in two homes on Everson Road and another in a home around the corner on Fontaine Road.
Columbia Gas, which is responsible for gas lines leading up to homes, says it is still unclear whether the problem occurred inside the home or outside. In a statement to 10tv.com the company said:
“Our thoughts are with the family and community dealing with the loss and impact of the tragic incident in Madison Township.
In cooperation with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Madison Township Fire Department, and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Columbia Gas of Ohio has participated in the investigation of the incident at 3335 Everson Road East.
Our crews have conducted thorough inspections of our service lines and main lines and confirmed they are safe. Based on our inspections and observations to date, we remain confident that our main lines and service lines did not contribute to this incident.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office will continue its investigation to determine the actual cause of the incident. We will continue to support their investigation.”
Investigators are still trying to pinpoint the exact source of the house explosion. The gas explosion lawyers at Pritzker Hageman law firm have won settlements from gas and propane companies, including a recent $10 million settlement.