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A Philadelphia gas main exploded at 8:30 p.m. on January 18.

Reports reveal that one of the PGW workers was killed and five others were injured as a result of the gas explosion. In addition to the PGW workers, a firefighter also suffered injuries. They were treated at Torresdale Hospital. At least one victim taken to a burn center.

The problem occurred at at a gas and water main break at 6900 Torresdale Avenue around 7:19 p.m. The explosion caused a 50-foot tall fireball and a three-alarm fire, setting fire to at least two homes and a PGW truck. Several dozen residents as well as individuals occupying businesses in the area were evacuated because of the gas explosion. One man’s account of the explosion stated that it caused homes in the neighborhood to shake and knocked a man over who was standing next to him.

While the cause of the Pennsylvania gas explosion is being investigated, similar incidents have been linked to a gas company’s failure to accurately install, maintain, or replace gas mains. Safety rules and regulations are in place to ensure that above ground gas pipes and valves are visible and that the area surrounding these mains are properly maintained. Moreover, the condition and visibility of these gas mains are supposed to be checked routinely for corrosion and other problems so they can be repaired properly and swiftly.

As this tragic accident in Philadelphia demonstrates, gas explosions present several risks to utility workers, firefighters, residents, and business owners. Gas explosions often lead to serious fires, which in turn can cause individuals to suffer burn injuries and other calamities.

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