Gas line explodes in New Jersey

23:52, Mar 04 2014

A gas line damaged by a contractor exploded "like a bomb" while utility crews worked to repair it in New Jersey, killing one person and injuring another seven. The blast also destroyed a home and damaged dozens of others. 

The was not discovered until late in the day Tuesday (local time). Police were working to establish the victim's identity, Lieutenant Ron Lunetta said, adding that no one else was believed to be missing.

At least 55 units in the housing complex were damaged, police said, including seven that were ''pretty much destroyed,'' Fire Marshal Bill Erney said. The utility PSE&G said it got a call that a contractor had damaged a gas line. Crews were repairing the line when it exploded.

The force from the blast buckled windows in an apartment complex nearby, said resident Marsha Brown, and pictures fell from her walls.

"It felt like a bomb," she said.

She saw a home engulfed in flames and two utility workers with injuries that apparently included broken bones. 

Three of those victims had to be hospitalized and none of those injuries was considered life-threatening, said Dr. Louis D'Amelio, trauma chief at Capital Regional Medical Center in Trenton. They included concussions, broken bones and minor shrapnel wounds, he said. 

Emergency crews on scene of a house explosion in New Jersey http://t.co/PflCB7mjuu @NBCPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/Lnu8oRAxu4

LIVE: Explosion damages homes, sparks fire New Jersey: http://t.co/RtqNwyJNWW - via @6abc pic.twitter.com/iPY4kiYsXx

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AP