Mitchell, SD – No one was injured but a blast shook the neighborhood when a home exploded late Thursday morning in Mitchell.
Cheri Hamilton and her husband, Bill, were standing just inside their Mitchell garage as she prepared to return to work when they heard what sounded like a bomb.
It shook everything, she said. Everything was up in the air 200 feet. Just unbelievable.
They rushed over to 1612 Bridle Drive, five houses down, and found nothing left. A green house at 1608 Bridle Drive had its front window blown out, and insulation and other debris littered the roof and front lawn. A garage east of the site had a door buckled and siding melted, and the house had a gaping hole in the roof.
As of late afternoon, 26 homes were evacuated and had no electricity or heat, said Steve Willis, Mitchell assistant fire chief.
Willis said he thought a natural gas leak caused the explosion. NorthWestern Energy crews found a gas pipe leaking underground, he said.
The blast could be felt in Avera Queen of Peace Hospitals lobby a few blocks away, said Sherri Patzer, administrative assistant in marketing.
They said it felt like the ceiling was going to cave in, she said.
Tom Glanzer, NorthWestern Energy spokesman, said a dozen workers, including two from Huron and a Brookings manager, checked homes for natural gas levels.
Electricity was restored to residents by 7:45 p.m.. Gas service was to be fixed late tonight or early Friday, he said.