UPDATE: 10 p.m. Jan. 19 — PGW has released a statement, which you can read in full below.
UPDATE: 8:30 p.m. Jan. 19 — The deceased PGW worker has been identified as 19-year-old Mark Keeley. Workers Keith Henderson, Bill Mahoney and Kevin Summerville remain in the hospital and Gil Vasquez has been released.
Update: 4 p.m. Jan. 19 — Video of the explosion posted below.
UPDATE 10 a.m. Jan 19 — Grey Lodge publican and friend of NEast Philly has provided photos of the aftermath of the 3-alarm fire in Tacony resulting from a gas main explosion on 6900 block of Torresdale Avenue.
Photos taken by Scoats and used here with permission. Read more and see more photos below.
UPDATE 7:10 a.m. Jan. 19 — One PGW worker has died. Five other responders have been injured.
UPDATE 10:17 p.m. Jan. 18 — Fox29 reports three PGW workers and one firefighter have been injured. An unconfirmed report of a missing person is circulating.
Photos taken by Scoats and used here with permission. Click to enlarge. UPDATE 9:16 p.m., Jan. 18 — Action News reports crews got the scene at 7pm for a 12-inch gas main break. The explosion occurred while the work was being done .
UPDATE 9:09 pm Jan. 18- West Frankford Town Watch reports the explosion occurred on the 6900-block of Torresdale Avenue. Two firefighters PGW employees are being transported to the hospital with injuries; one sustained burns to his face.
A tip from a parent inside a meeting at St. Hubert’s says the building shook about 15 minutes ago when what’s believed to be an explosion at a gas station on Torresdale Avenue occurred. More details to follow.
STATEMENT FROM PGW PRESIDENT & CEO THOMAS KNUDSEN AND EVP & ACTION COO CRAIG WHITE:
“Yesterday, our worst fears were realized when we lost a member of the Philadelphia Gas Works family. The employee was killed as he responded to an odor call on Torresdale Ave. around 8:30 p.m. last night. Additionally, three other PGW employees are currently being cared for at Temple University Hospital’s Burn Unit. One other employee was taken to the hospital last night; and has been treated and released.
On behalf of PGW’s officers and the entire PGW family, we extend our sincerest condolences and our continuing support to those involved in this tragic incident. Support services are being made available for all employees at PGW’s Corporate Headquarters.
The natural gas infrastructure around Torresdale Ave. has been made safe and only a small number of customers are currently without service. We do not yet know the cause of the incident, but will continue to work with the Philadelphia Fire Marshall to investigate. And finally, as employees to continue to work in the field and our offices, we would like to thank them for their dedication and service to the people of Philadelphia.”