Body found on top of a car near New Jersey townhome explosion

An explosion in an Ewing Township townhome complex has left one dead and seven injured. The body of a woman was found on top of a car near several destroyed homes. Ewing police Lt. Ron Lunetta says officials are unable to identify the victim. He says authorities will await an autopsy for positive identification and cause of death. Officials don’t know whether the victim lived at the development.

The explosion happened after 12 p.m.in Ewing, about seven miles northwest of Trenton near I-95 and the Delaware River. It was so powerful that officials say at least 10 townhomes were destroyed and 45 others damaged.

According to PSE&G, one of their contract workers was replacing electrical service at that unit earlier in the day and damaged a gas line. PSE&G workers who came out to investigate and repair the damage were standing in front of the house when the explosion occurred.

“The gas main did not explode. We are investigating right now what the source of the ignition was and what ignited,” said PSE&G Director Mike Gaffney.

Authorities say just three of seven people hurt in a gas explosion in New Jersey will need to be admitted to a hospital, and a hospital official says none has life-threatening injuries.

The head of trauma at Capital Regional Medical Center in Trenton says one injured man was undergoing emergency surgery late Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Louis D’Amelio says the injuries from the explosion include concussions, broken bones and minor shrapnel wounds.

D’Amelio says all three people being hospitalized were close to the house that blew up.

The township has set up a relief center at the West Trenton Fire House at 40 W. Ferry Road. Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann encouraged people who live in South Fork and have been displaced, to come eat, rest and recharge their phone and computer batteries.

_______________________________________________

NBC 10, Associated Press contributed to this report

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.