A fiery gas explosion at a South Philadelphia row home sent two Philadelphia Gas Works employees to the hospital
The industrial accident occurred on Thursday, January 30, 2014, on the 1800 block of South Bancroft Street just north of Mifflin. PGW crews responded to reports of a smell of gas at about 5:30 p.m. Workers investigating the cause of the smell began shutting off gas service to homes in the area. The PGW employees were in the basement of a row house when the explosion occurred just after 7:00 p.m.
Initial reports found that workers could not access the home and called a lock smith. Once they were let into the home, they found unusually high natural gas readings. The workers had called the fire department and arranged to have electricity shut off when the explosion occurred.
The explosion sparked a fire that displaced at least three families from their homes. Two PGW workers injured. The men were taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The injuries were serious, but not life threatening. A resident suffered burns to his hands.
The explosion is under investigation by PGW and the Philadelphia Fire Department.
In January 2011, PGW was cited by the Public Utility Commission and fined $400,000 for a gas explosion that killed one of their workers and injured five others. The company has changed its procedures. Cutting off electricity when there is a gas leak is part of the improved safety plan.
No one plans to be injured on the job. Fortunately, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation is available to help injured workers. Learn about your right to workers’ compensation in Your Guide To PA Worker’s Compensation.