Two separate gas-related explosions in Connecticut homes have left five people injured and caused the death of one person. An explosion in New Milford in late August killed one person and injured two. Three people were injured in an explosion in Shelton in mid-September. Both explosions appear to have resulted from gas leaks. Natural gas explosions can be devastating, with damages ranging from the severe destruction of these two to the catastrophic destruction of the Kleen Energy Systems plant explosion in Middletown in 2010.
The New Milford explosion occurred during the evening of August 29, 2012. A homeowner and his friend were reportedly attempting to repair a gas leak in the house. The friend’s nine year-old son was also present at the house. The homeowner had reportedly sent his two children to a neighbor’s house after he smelled gas. The friend, a licensed plumber, was killed in the explosion. The homeowner and the friend’s child suffered severe burns and were rushed to the hospital. The house was essentially leveled, with only the chimney remaining. People reported hearing the explosion miles away.
The explosion in Shelton happened in the afternoon of September 10. Two employees of Pioneer Gas & Appliance Company made a routine stop to switch a homeowner’s gas service from a different provider. As the two workers attempted to light the water heater’s pilot light, something triggered an explosion that was felt throughout the neighborhood. The two gas company employees and the homeowner suffered serious burns. As with the New Milford case, members of the homeowner’s family were instructed to vacate the house when the employees smelled gas. Investigators suspect a gas leak caused the explosion.