STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- A natural gas explosion has leveled a house and injured 15 people, two critically, after a gas main break Tuesday in a neighborhood at the New Jersey shore.
Seven of the injured were gas company workers trying to locate the source of a leak that filled the neighborhood with a strong gas smell.
Two of them were in critical condition at a hospital in Atlantic City.
Six firefighters and two emergency medical service technicians also were injured, sustaining concussion-like symptoms from the shock wave of the blast.
“It was like a bomb,” neighbor Carlos Ricardo told PIX11 News. “The whole house shook. It threw me out of my chair. I never experienced anything like this in my life.”
The cause of the 10:32 a.m. explosion has not been determined.
“It was incredible when it exploded,” said neighbor Heather Tatur. “Things were just falling off the wall, off the cabinets. It’s craziness.”
A police cruiser’s dashboard camera captured the explosion on video. It showed the intensity of the blast and the fireball that followed.
About 300 homes remain without gas service, and some are also without electricity, although authorities say the situation is under control.