Gas leak from street blamed in New Jersey blast that hurt 15

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) – Investigators say natural gas leaking from an underground main traveled into a New Jersey house, built up in its basement and exploded when it came in contact with an open flame from an appliance in the house. The blast injured 15 people.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office says the most likely source of Tuesday’s explosion in Stafford Township was a pilot light from a hot water heater or furnace, or a spark from a thermostat.

Two gas company workers remain hospitalized in critical condition.

Investigators say gas leaked from the main in the street in front of the house, traveled along a water pipe into the unoccupied house’s basement, and exploded when the flame or spark touched it.

A police car’s dashboard camera recorded a fireball followed by a downpour of debris.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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