New Jersey condo site explosion kills one, injures seven

PHILADELPHIA Tue Mar 4, 2014 6:10pm EST

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PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - An explosion in a condominium development in southern New Jersey's Ewing Township on Tuesday killed one person, injured seven others and damaged dozens of homes, police said.

Aerial photographs of the scene displayed on local online media showed a raging fire and thick smoke, flattened houses and debris blown into trees from the blast, which occurred about 1 p.m. EST in the township, about 10 miles north of Trenton.

The cause of the blast was unknown. A spokeswoman for utility company PSE&G said workers had been called to the development shortly before noon after a gas line was damaged.

Seven workers were injured, according to police. They worked for the utility, the contractor or the township, police said.

The body of the victim was found some distance away from the explosion, and it was not immediately clear if it was a worker or resident, said Ewing Township Police Lieutenant Ron Lunetta at a news briefing.

"Obviously, where it happened is devastated. It's really bad," Lunetta said.

Fifty-five units in the condominium development were damaged, some very badly, Lunetta said.

(Reporting by Daniel Kelley; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Barbara Goldberg, Dan Grebler and Gunna Dickson)

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