Gas explosion causes rowhomes to collapse in Port Richmond

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    PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (KYW) — A gas explosion shook up a Philadelphia neighborhood on Sunday morning. The explosion in the Port Richmond section of the city caused the collapse of two rowhomes and a third home was compromised, police say.

Neighbors on the 3500 block of Miller Street were woken up around 2:45 a.m. just after they got home from celebrating the new year.

“It’s kind of like a video game. You know, in my house, my wife and I just got home from being out for the new year. Put the baby down and then the explosion happened. We were just worried. Bunch of confusion and then just kind of making sure my neighbors were OK,” a neighbor said. “Debris all over the place. The whole house is down across the way. Kind of ran over there and made sure everything was all right. We were pulling debris off of the house and making sure everybody is out of there. It’s kind of scary. You never know what you’re going to find down there.”

Officials say that a bomb squad was on location as the cause of the explosion was unknown.

Police tell CBS3 that five people were hospitalized. One person was buried underneath the debris and needed to be extricated.

A man remains hospitalized in critical condition while two other people are listed in stable condition. The condition of the other two is unknown, police say.

One of the victims has since returned to the scene and says his girlfriend, another victim, was OK.

A neighbor spoke with CBS about how he remembers the explosion and its immediate aftereffects. He was sitting in his car with his girlfriend when the two rowhomes exploded.

Utilities needed to be shut off in the area so that the department could go in and make sure everyone is safe.

Nearby neighbors have been evacuated to an area rec center. The Red Cross was also there to help people affected by the explosion.

Police stressed that it is very fortunate that no one died.

PGW in a statement reminds the public that “all utilities … add a rotten egg smell to natural gas. If you smell a rotten egg-like smell, please call 215-235-1212. This line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

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