A heartbreaking incident unfolded one Saturday morning in a quiet suburb in Plum, Pennsylvania which lies to the northeast of Pittsburgh. A huge explosion took place leaving five people dead, including a father and his young son, and three others injured.
Over the past 15 years, this marked at least the third occasion when a home exploded in the same area. In this case, the explosion demolished three houses and caused damage to around a dozen more.
The initial explosion destroyed 3 housed and engulfed neighboring homes in flames. Medical aid and first response team rushed to the scene and discovered people trapped under debris where they found the three injured individuals who were then rushed to the hospital. Two of them have been released but the third one is fighting for his life and is in critical condition.
“I heard this ‘boom.’ It was so loud that it woke me up. I thought it was thunder from the storms last night,” neighbor Alexis Typanski told CNN affiliate WTAE. “My water bottle fell on me instantaneously. I was shaking. It scared me so bad.”
The explosion seemed to originate from one house, which led to adjacent homes catching fire as well. Numerous other houses were damaged, and windows were blown out.
A coordinated effort involving 18 fire departments worked to extinguish the flames and clear the rubble. The cause of the explosion is still unknown and is yet to be revealed but the authorities concerned are investigating it thoroughly.
The loud noise from the explosion startled residents, causing windows to shatter and objects to fly, leaving everyone shaken.
As the day progressed, the area remained an “active scene,” with first responders committed to staying on-site for an extended period. Gas services were shut off in the vicinity as emergency crews worked, with representatives from various gas companies present to assist.
The victims were gradually identified, and among them were Casey Clontz and his 12-year-old son, Keegan. Descriptions from family statements highlighted Casey’s sense of humor and deep love for his family.
“He always supported his teams and just loved being a part of the game and everyone’s lives who were involved.”
The statement adds that Keegan “loved his sister, especially when he was able to give her a hard time as only a brother can.”
“Keegan and Casey were their most happy when they were spending time at the lake with their lake family & friends,” reads the statement. “They swam, did boating and loved cruising around in their golf cart. Keegan and Casey will be missed by so many and will continue to be loved by so many including their family, friends and community.”
Tragically, similar incidents had occurred before in Plum. In April of the previous year, another house explosion was reported, and back in March 2008, a fatal home explosion claimed a life and injured a child.
As investigations continue, images from doorbell cameras show the fiery explosion, while aerial footage depicts the aftermath of destruction, with burnt structures and cars serving as stark reminders of the tragic incident.