Columbia Gas takes blame for house explosion that hurt 5

The Associated Press
First responders gather near the area where an explosion believed to have been caused by a gas leak, reduced a western Pennsylvania home to a pile of rubble and sent at least four people to hospitals, Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in North Franklin Township, in Washington, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH – A gas company is taking the blame for an explosion near Pittsburgh that reduced a home to a pile of rubble and injured five people.

Columbia Gas says they failed to install a key piece of equipment in the home while workers nearby upgraded a gas main.

Mike Huwar, the company’s president, says workers didn’t realize the home was connected to the section of gas main that was being worked on, and a pressure regulator was never added to the home.

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He says when the new system was engaged the elevated pressure led to a leak and caused Wednesday’s blast.

Officials with North Franklin Township say they have barred the company from doing any work in the township until further notice. They also want the Columbia Gas to pay for cleanup and repairs to the area where the explosion happened.

The homeowner, a neighbor and three firefighters were hurt.