Aerial view of firefighters at the scene of a Ewing home explosion (CBS Philly)

One person has died following an explosion at a housing complex in Ewing, authorities said. The blast, which sent smoke into the air that could be seen for miles, also injured seven utility workers.


Video of Ewing home explosion (You Tube)

The individual who was killed in the blast was found outside the dwelling, but officials didn't know if the victim lived in the home that blew up. The victim's name and age were not released.

In an email earlier Tuesday afternoon, PSE&G said contractors working at 28 Crockett Lane damaged a gas line. A utility crew was making repairs in the South Fork development when there was an "ignition" causing the explosion. PSE&G employees were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries according to the email.

Matt Gaffney of PSE&G said during the late afternoon press conference that the gas line was damaged but "did not rupture." He did not elaborate on the exact cause of the explosion. The Board of Public Utilities is helping with the investigation, Gaffney said.

Lt. Ron Lunetta of the Ewing Police Dept. said Unit 28 was completely destroyed. He said there are no known injuries to residents but rescue crews continue to search the rubble. Residents of buildings that caught fire following the explosion were taken to the West Trenton Fire House on Upper Ferry Road according to CBS Philly

A spokesman at Capital Regional Medical Center said two of the people injured apparently suffered traumatic injuries and the others were sent to its other two hospital campuses.

Several adjoining units on Corbett Lane were affected by the explosion according to NBC 10 which described the scene as a war zone with insulation scattered all over the place.

Smoke from the explosion were visible from more than 20 miles away.

A New Jersey 101.5 listener in an email wrote that the windows of her 93-year-old mother's home were blown out and pictures fell off the wall. Crockett Lane resident Marsha Brown, described it to 6 ABC as a "huge explosion, like a bomb. A house was in flames, gas workers were laying out with legs broken, arms broken, gashes."

The manager of the nearby Mountain View Golf Course told NBC 10 "We thought it was a plane crash" as their building shook. The television station reports that fire crews from Burlington, Mercer and Bucks county have responded to the scene.

Smoke from Ewing home explosion (@evbudnick via Twitter)

Ewing Township Public Schools posted on the website that students at the nearby Lore School, located a half-mile from the fire scene on Westwood Drive are safe and are being dismissed on their regular schedule. Students who cannot be dropped off safely due to closed roads will be returned to the school and parents notified.

The ramps from I-95 to Bear Tavern Road at Exit 2 have been closed, according to NJ Fast Traffic.

The Community Blood Council of New Jersey has put the call out for blood donations as hospitals treating the injured have called in "stat" blood orders. The Blood Council, located on Parkside Avenue in Ewing is accepting donations until 8 p.m.

This is a breaking story. Check back for additional details.


The Associated Press contributed to this report