NTSB releases preliminary findings in home explosion

MILLERSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on an apparent natural gas explosion that killed a UGI employee and leveled a Lancaster County home last month.

The report on the NTSB website says the natural gas service line to the destroyed Manor Township home was pressure tested and found to be free of any leaks, but a tapping tee to the house was found to be leaking.

The gas meter, a portion of the service line riser, and three tapping tees were shipped to a laboratory for examination.

Three UGI technicians were investigating a reported gas odor when the house at 206 Springdale Lane exploded July 2. A Lancaster Area Sewer Authority inspector was also at the home because gas measurements had detected natural gas in the sewage system.

The first UGI technician to arrive, 54-year-old Richard Bouder of East Lampeter Township, helped the only person in the home open doors and windows to rid the house of gas and then instructed that person to leave, according to the report. About 20 minutes later, Bouder was working at the meter on the side of the house and died of multiple traumatic injuries caused by the blast debris.

The other UGI technicians and the LASA inspector were injured and hospitalized. Four nearby homes were damaged and condemned.

The NTSB has jurisdiction over gas pipelines outside a residence or business. The report does not contain a probable cause and the board noted the preliminary information will either be supplemented or corrected during the ongoing investigation.

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