5 Dead, Multiple Injured Following Home Explosion

A house in Plum Borough, Pennsylvania was destroyed by an explosion on August 12, 2023. Three nearby houses burned to the ground. There were at least twelve additional buildings that were damaged by the explosion.

Lanny Conley, the police chief of Plum Borough, said that five people, including four adults and a kid, were found dead in the wreckage of the demolished house. Three other people living in the neighborhood were injured and taken by ambulance to the hospital. Two were let go, but on August 16th, 56-year-old Paul Oravitz died from his wounds.

57 firefighters were treated for various injuries at the scene. Chief Conley has called for the community’s patience and respect while they wait for the results of the medical examiner’s examination of the remains and the investigation into the explosion’s cause.

The fires caused by the explosion were put out by a combined effort of 18 fire agencies. The fire departments were helped by water tankers from neighboring counties Allegheny and Westmoreland.

There has been no discovery yet of what caused the initial explosion. President Michael Huwar of People’s Gas said that the company’s infrastructure was “operating as designed.”

Expect the forensic investigation conducted by the county fire Marshall and law enforcement to take “months to years.” The public has been warned to stay out of the area unless their presence is absolutely required.

Dr. Rick Walsh, superintendent of the Plum Borough School District, released a statement expressing his condolences and support for the local community. On Monday, August 14, 2023, town officials postponed all activities planned for that day. Food, water, bereavement counseling, and financial assistance have all been donated by the community for those affected.

There has been a pattern of explosions in Plum Borough. Another house was blown up in April of 2022. No one knows what caused it yet. A gas line that had been damaged five years before to the 2008 home explosion was found to have rusted and caused the explosion. Natural gas was the cause of another explosion in 1996.




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