Propane Leak May Have Caused House Explosion

Tuesday, November 20th 2007, 6:22 am
By: News On 6

A massive explosion levels one home and damages several more in McIntosh County. Authorities say a propane tank at one exploded Monday afternoon in Eufaula. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports the blast could be heard more than 30 miles away.

The state fire marshal's office is still trying to figure out what caused the sudden, violent explosion. But, officials say it was a miracle no one was seriously injured. Looking at the widespread debris along the shore of Lake Eufaula, it's difficult to imagine that a home ever stood here.

The entire 4,000 square foot structure was leveled when its propane tank suddenly exploded shortly before five on Monday. Luckily, the couple that owns it was not home at the time. Authorities say the explosion carried the force of a thousand pound bomb, and it startled all of Eufaula.

"I could hear it, it sounded like it was right outside my door,” said Naomi Perry, who lives in Eufaula.

Investigators say the blast was heard as far away as McAlester which is 30 miles to the South and Muskogee which is 30 miles to the north. It also damaged eight neighboring homes, including JoAnn McMillan's. It blew out 18 windows on her house and garage, and moved her boat several feet.

"The trailer hitch was over there,” said Eufaula’s JoAnn McMillan.

She was not at home, but a woman was watching the house for her. She says the house-sitter happened to reach down to change the laundry at the exact moment of the explosion.

"And when she bent down, it was a giant sonic boom, blast, explosion. She didn't know what it was at first,” said JoAnn McMillan.

To give you an idea just how powerful this blast was, in Jo Ann's kitchen, all the cabinets were blown off their hinges, all the cups and plates were scattered everywhere and broken.

The house-sitter suffered minor injuries from the broken glass. She was the only person hurt in the explosion. In addition to the one destroyed, eight other homes suffered some damage. Authorities say three or four of those will likely have to be condemned.

Watch the video: Homes Damaged In Blast