A gas line has exploded “like a bomb” in a residential neighbourhood in New Jersey, injuring seven people.Several homes were damaged or completely destroyed after a utility contractor apparently damaged the gas line in Ewing, near Trenton.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) received a call shortly before noon local time about the damaged line, company spokeswoman Lindsey Puliti said.
Crews were working on it about an hour later when the gas line ignited, she said.
Television footage showed debris strewn across a wide area and smoke billowing from the complex. Flames apparently fed by an exposed gas line also could be seen shooting up from the scene.
The force from the blast shook windows in an apartment complex nearby, resident Marsha Brown said, adding that and pictures fell from her walls.
She said: “It felt like a bomb.”
Ms Brown said she ran to the town house complex, where she saw a home engulfed in flames and two utility workers on the lawn with injuries that apparently included broken bones.
She said she saw another utility worker on a sidewalk crying, being held by a woman.
“My body was shaking. I like to say I am calm, but I was shaking,” said Ms Brown. “You could feel the flames, everything.”
A spokesman at Capital Regional Medical Center in Trenton said it treated seven patients from the explosion, but none suffered life-threatening injuries.
Authorities said just three of the seven people treated were admitted to hospital, including one man who was undergoing surgery.
PSE&G confirmed that two of its workers were among the injured.