Front Royal, VA – FRONT ROYAL, Va., NBC4 – Investigators have release the name of one of the victims of an explosion in Front Royal, Va., that killed two people, leveled a mobile home and damaged two other buildings early Thursday morning.
Officers said Thursday afternoon that Dorothy Wendell Donovan, 77, died in the blast. She lived in the home that was destroyed. The name of the second victim has not yet been released, but he is believed to be Donovan’s husband, News4’s Julie Carey reported.
The blast appears to have started at a mobile home in a small complex on U.S. Route 522 near the Front Royal exit of Interstate 66. Officers still do not know what caused the initial blast.
Many of the homes in the complex are owned by the same family. The blast also damaged at least two more homes.
A neighbor and a rescue worker managed to pull Dorothy Donovan from the mobile home, but she later died. Another resident of the home was also killed in the blast.
The investigation is now focused on the propane tank used to heat the home. A spokesman for Shenandoah Gas, a division of Washington Gas, says their nearest pipeline is three-quarters of a mile away.
The blast occurred shortly after 6 a.m. State Police closed Route 522 in both directions at Interstate 66 after the blast, but traffic is now being allowed to pass through that area.
A number of area residents reported hearing the blast from as far away as Middletown and Clarke counties. Donald Miller, who lives in Warren County, said he lives approximately 8 miles from the intersection and he heard and felt the explosion.