It seems like these days, tragic house explosions are not as rare as they should be. In case you’ve been out of the loop, there was a house explosion at the Rustic Ridge housing development in Plum, Penn., on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023.
Unfortunately, it was announced that four people were initially found dead as a result of the incident. However, a Sunday, Aug. 13 press conference confirmed that the death toll increased to five people, with one of the deceased parties being a young child.
Additionally, several people were hospitalized and over 50 firefighters on the scene were treated for minor issues. The wreckage also damaged and destroyed over a dozen homes.
With that in mind, folks are wondering what could be the cause of the explosion. Here’s everything that we know.
The cause of the Plum house explosion is currently unknown.
According to CBS News, the cause of the Plum house explosion is currently unknown. Officials told the outlet that the investigation is expected to possibly last for years as it will be a “slow and long process.”
The outlet shares that the authorities received a call moments before 10:30 a.m. EST that multiple houses caught fire due to an explosion. Unfortunately, Allegheny County officials said that firefighters and officers found "people trapped under the debris.”
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, due to the way the homes are constructed, it can take officials a long time to assess the cause of the fire.
The publication shared that there is a pipeline that runs behind the development along with two gas wells located within 1,000 feet of the home that exploded. Plus, the home development is surrounded by gas wells and shallow oil while sitting on top of an abandoned mine land.
That said, it will be some time before we discover the true cause of the explosion.
Neighborhood residents shared that the explosion destroyed their homes.
As folks are sending their grievances to the families of those who lost their loved ones, residents have been vocal about the damage their homes have sustained from the explosion.
"It's just tragic, I mean, it looks like a war zone — it looks like a bomb hit our neighborhood, and it's just unfortunate," neighbor Rafal Kolankowski told the Pittsburgh Gazette. "I was just with some of the neighbors yesterday, right, and now this happens."
Rafal shared that the explosion broke windows in his house and knocked him and his wife to the ground. Once he checked on his family, he went outside with other neighbors and found a woman who said her father was in the basement and her mother was upstairs.
While the mother was able to get out to safety, Rafal explained that the man is believed to not have exited the basement.
"I still can't believe it," neighbor Jason Decheck told WTAE. "You see this stuff, and when it's this close, you don't even know what to think. These are your neighbors ... you may not know them all, but this is a tight community."
We’d like to give our deepest condolences to the residents affected by the Plum home explosion.