image credit (KDKA/Sky Eye 2)
A tragic house explosion occurred on Saturday, August 12 in Plum Borough, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The accident killed 5, including one twelve-year-old child, according to KDKA News, Pittsburgh. So far, three of the five dead's names are public. They are Kevin Sebunia, Casey Clontz, and Casey's son Keegan.
Three others went to the hospital following the explosion. One remains in critical condition.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said, "This is certainly a sad day and sad time not just for the folks in Plum but all the folks in the community and in this region."
The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office is leading an investigation to determine the cause of this horrific explosion. According to KDKA, initial reports find the source is likely hot water tank issues. Officials say it could take months or even years to find the exact reason for the explosion as they continue investigating hot water tank issues and all other possible causes.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote, "It can sometimes take years to tease out the cause of a house explosion in southwestern Pennsylvania because of the surface and subsurface activities that layer on top of each other. The Rustic Ridge housing development sits on top of abandoned mine land and is surrounded by shallow oil and gas wells, some still producing and some abandoned."
The explosion destroyed three homes in Rustic Ridge and damaged several others. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interviewed a community neighbor who says 9 to 11 homes will likely need to be demolished.
The local community and businesses have supported the affected Rustic Ridge families.
The Plum Mustang Foundation has already raised thousands of dollars for the families.
FASTSIGNS, a local company, is selling $20 signs saying "Prayers for Rustic Ridge," with all proceeds going to the families of those affected.
"I grew up in Plum and just coming from the community, there's a huge sense of togetherness there, and when something happens, they all group together, and I knew with a little bit of effort if I started it, they would do the rest," FASTSIGNS owner Corey Smith said.
Several local businesses are doing everything they can to help as the community goes through this trying time.
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