Explosion in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond has 5 person injured
On Sunday morning, an explosion in a row home in the Port Richmond neighbourhood of Philadelphia injured five people, one of whom was in severe condition.
Fire officials said the explosion occurred around 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day at the intersection of Miller and East Atlantic Streets, completely destroying two residences and badly damaging several more.
Vehicles were sent lurching across the street and windows were shattered in the explosion.
Chris Heisenger and his girlfriend were in their car when an explosion went off nearby.
“As I got out the car I’m stepping over piles of concrete,” Heisenger recalled.
The next morning, he showed up at the scene with a gash on his cheek from a shard of glass and clothes covered in blood. He had been on his way to Wawa for a midnight bite when the entire block collapsed beneath him.
“Well, I had my head turned towards her and I was like, ‘we’re going to Wawa,’ and suddenly there was like a tremendous bang and I just felt my whole car push over to the curb,” he said.
According to the fire department, a gas leak inside one of the houses was the likely reason.
“It was like a bomb, like a baboom! It shook the whole house. It’s undescribable almost,”. A neighbour said.
Tim Bolli claimed the block looked like a battle zone since a car was twisted up in the middle of the road.
As the rubble settled, neighbours aided one another to safety. According to the fire department, they had to rescue three persons and take them to the hospital.
Two people had managed to get themselves out of the blast area, and one had to be dug out from under the rubble, according to Assistant Fire Chief Charles Walker.
Cars are pushed on the street, windows are blown out, and the fact that there was no loss of life is absolutely a blessing, as you can see on some of your cameras, said Walker.
As rescuers combed through the rubble, residents expressed gratitude for their lives.
Heisenger elaborated, “This is why I never take anything for granted the following day or whatever, I just take each day as it goes.”