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911 Calls from New Jersey Condo Explosion Released


Ewing, NJ (MyFoxPhilly) - For the first time, we're hearing the chaotic 911 calls made immediately after a gas line erupted inside a home in Ewing Township, New Jersey last week.

The cause of the March 4 blast that killed one person and injured several others is still under investigation.

The tapes raises even more questions than before because we now know that the first call to 911 was made by a woman. That person is likely a resident calling from her cell phone and not any member of the crews doing work before the explosion happened.

"A house just literally blew up," said the caller. "I'm on Scenic Drive. There's a fire. Oh, my god the house there's lots of flames.

"The female caller continued. "The house is gone. I don't know if there are people inside or what."

62-year old Linda Cerritelli was killed in the explosion on Crockett Lane in the South Fork at Ewing condominium complex. 55 units were damaged and 20 were left inhabitable.

Some residents are not happy with the answers they're getting as to a cause. "I believe pro total was missed. Gas was smelled far enough in advance that the bells should have rang at town hall or PSE &G and evacuations should have started," Homeowner Nelson Meneses said.

PSE&G say contractor Henkels & McCcoy was digging to perform electrical work to that woman's home when they apparently struck a gas line. They called in for assistance, including to PSE&G, and there was an "ignition" around 1 p.m.

"We don't know exactly what caused the accident or exact timelines of events," Mike Gaffney of PSE&G said. "We have worked with Henkel's and McCoy for a long time we have a long standing relationship with them they've done good work for us and we have not have any previous incidents."

Even the town's mayor wants more answers. "I'm a little bit disappointed on how long it's taken to find the actual cause but I just want to be sure were absolutely sure the information we get is the right information," Mayor Bert Steinmann said.

Witnesses said they feared the worst when they heard and felt the blast. Many people spent the night at a temporary shelter at the West Trenton Volunteer Fire Co. as they waited to hear if and when they could return home.

All seven of the injured were utility workers. Two were taken to the Hopewell campus of Capital Health Hospital. The other five were taken to the Trenton campus, where only one required emergency surgery.

However, many are still shaken by the blast.

PS&G issued a statement saying "our hearts go out to the family and friends of the woman who lost her life and to the families who have been displaced from their homes."

They are thankful for the community's outreach. If you'd like to make a donation to the victims of the explosion you can call 609-538-7587.


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