A woman's body was found at the site of a gas explosion in Ewing Twp., Mercer County, N.J., according to county prosecutor Joe Bochhini. The afternoon explosion rocked a housing development in the Mercer County, N.J., community, injuring seven other people, obliterating one home and damaging 55 others.
"It reminds me of basic training in the infantry," said Josiah Perez who was home, across the street when the blast blew out two of the windows in his house. "I heard this loud boom. It just rocketed the house. The china fell, the pictures fell. I looked outside and it's a bunch of flames and it was warm. It was hot."
The explosion happened about 12:50 p.m. while workers were trying to repair a gas line inside the South Fork development in Ewing Township. The gas company, PSE&G, said their crew was called out after workers with a private contracting company damaged the line while digging.
The blast shook the area with such force, some people thought it was a plane crash.
"I was out having my lunch in my car and it shook my car and I looked back at the building because I thought maybe a plane had hit it," said Carolyn Gavila, who works at a law firm about 100 yards from the development.
Five of the injured are public service workers according to Ewing Township Police Lt. Ron Lunetta. The two other victims work for the private contractor, Henkels and McCloy, Lunetta said.
"We're not sure how it happened," Lunetta said. "It's a pretty horrific scene down there."
The condominium at 28 Crockett was leveled and Lunetta said there is structural damage to several others homes.
Bryan Gentry was in his car outside the post office when he heard and felt the explosion. "Everything just went back to normal." Gentry could see the smoke. He started driving in that direction. "As I was driving by, I just saw the fire." Gentry shot video with his cell phone.
"When I got down to the end. I saw this one guy. He was just staggering and people were running towards him," Gentry said. "He didn't look like he was burned."
In an afternoon press conference, Lt. Lunetta said they did not believe any civilians were hurt, but that a thorough search was being conducted at the site.
Penny Ray, a journalist for The Trentonian describes walking up on explosion site in the video below, "This is the house and it's completely gone. Well, this was the house," Ray says.
Seven people are injured and at this point in the investigation, police do not think any civilians are hurt. Five of the victims are public service workers. The other two victims work for the contracting company. Injuries range from respiratory to head injuries and some fractures. According to a doctor with Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, none of the injuries appears to be life threatening.
The explosion knocked out power for 128 PSE&G customers.