One person died and three others were injured after a massive gas explosion in Manor Township, Pennsylvania. The July 2 blast was so powerful that it leveled one home, damaged four others so badly that they were condemned and rendered several others uninhabitable.

A three-man crew from UGi Utilities and one employee, Denny Hoffert, from the Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (LASA) were responding to a gas odor call on Springfield Lane when the explosion occurred around 12:30. UGI employee Richard A. Bouder, 54, of East Lampeter Township, was killed in the blast. The three others who were injured in the explosion are expected to recover. The homeowner, who had been asked to leave while the crew searched for the source of the gas odor, was unharmed.

Explosion injuries are grouped into four categories: blast wave Injuries caused by the overpressure; penetrating trauma from flying debris; injuries from being thrown by the blast, and the fourth group includes all other injuries such as flash burns and crush injuries. Bouder and Hoffert, who was outside the home, returning to his truck after marking the sewer line, both sustained injuries from flying debris.

The explosion, which ripped the roof off of a neighboring home, created a debris field hundreds of yards wide. Gas in the neighborhood was shut off as local, state and federal investigators combed the area for clues as to what caused the explosion.

Eric Hageman
Eric Hageman

Conducting an independent investigation is a key part of successfully representing clients who have been injured in explosions, according to explosion attorney Eric Hageman.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB),  the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission are all investigating the cause of the explosion.

UGI Issued the following statement:

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.