Sylvania Township, OH- SYLVANIA — A natural gas explosion in a home in Sylvania Township not only destroyed the place, but almost killed the owner Thursday afternoon. It’s the second such explosion in a week and has some wondering about the safety of natural gas.
Thursday’s explosion took place in a sub-division located near the corner of Crissey Road and Bancroft. It was so powerful, it blew out windows, cracked the bricks, and hurt a woman inside.
It all started with a contractor hitting a gas line while digging near Ester Zall’s house Thursday around 3pm. “Whoooo!” That’s the reaction of Zall’s neighbor Jean Priestap who couldn’t believe what she heard. “It sounded like a sonic boom,” she told News 11. “Loud noise and then I saw fire trucks and windows blown out,” she added. The windows, the front door, and the entire back end of the condo was pretty much gone.
Columbia Gas said McRill Drilling Company hit a 2-inch medium pressure gas main.
Right now there’s some question as to whether McRill was at fault though. The company says it had the site checked out and there was not supposed to be a gas line in that spot. Columbia has not been able to comment on McRill’s position.
Columbia Gas says the gas had made its way quickly into the house. “It migrated, there’s speculation that there’s a sewer line there that it could have migrated in,” said Columbia Gas Communications Manager Gina Thompson. “It could (have been touched off by) a light switch, a phone ringing. It’s hard to speculate at this time.”
Neighbors say Zall was sitting in a chair in the master bedroom at the time of the explosion. She was hurt but not critically. “She’s very lucky,” said Sylvania Township firefighter Scott Smith.
“She was in the best place of the house when it exploded. It could have taken not only one person’s life but several,” said neighbor Mary Stang.
Thompson said Columbia Gas will do an investigation and the Public Utilities Commission will do an investigation trying to figure out how much gas leaked, how many people responded, how long they were there and more.
Thompson said Columbia is very interested in talking to the McRill to find out more about what happened. Meanwhile, Columbia Gas told us the lines have been repaired and all the gas has been purged from the line and re-filled.