Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Richard Bouder, 54, is the UGI utility employee killed in the massive natural gas explosion in Lancaster County, PA

Richard Bouder, dead UGI worker

In Lancaster County, the investigation and cleanup resumes after a fatal house explosion near Millersville.

On Monday, The Lancaster County Coroner Identified the UGI worker killed in the explosion as 54 year old Richard Bouder. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

UGI releases statement

A UGI worker was killed in the blast and two others were injured. The company released the following statement Sunday night:

"UGI is saddened to announce the tragic death of one of our coworkers who was killed in an incident at Springdale Lane, Manor Township.

Three UGI employees were responding to a gas odor call on Sunday, July 2, 2017 when an explosion occurred. One employee was killed and two employees were injured in the explosion. The two injured employees are hospitalized but are expected to fully recover.

The cause of the incident is under investigation and UGI is working with regulatory officials, fire and emergency responders to learn more about the cause of the explosion. As part of this effort, UGI crews have shut off natural gas to the affected area and are performing enhanced leak detection surveys to ensure the area is safe.

The entire UGI family is deeply saddened by this tragic event. Our thoughts are with the family of our fellow employee who lost his life as well as our employees who were injured, and their families. UGI is working through our employee assistance program to provide grief counseling to employees and employee family members, as well as the American Red Cross to provide assistance to individuals affected by the incident."


Authorities say a coroner was called to the scene of a blast believed to have been a gas explosion that leveled a Lancaster County home.

One UGI utility worker was unaccounted for and two others were injured. 

UGI Utilities, Inc. is a natural gas and electric utility headquartered in Reading, Pennsylvania. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UGI Corporation, based in Valley Forge. 

The explosion was reported at about 12:15 p.m. Sunday in Manor Township near Millersville.

A photo and a video tweeted by firefighters show a large debris field with smoke rising from the scene.

UGI Utilities spokesman Joe Swope said three employees were at the scene. He said two were injured and one was taken to the hospital, and the status of the third employee was unclear "but there is a report of a fatality."

Rescue workers told LNP newspaper that residents were evacuated from the home before the explosion.


Manor Township home was leveled by an explosion Sunday afternoon that killed a UGI worker and injured three more.

The explosion was apparently caused by a gas leak. Workers were investigating the leak Sunday when the explosion occurred, according to a company spokesman.

The loud explosion was reported before 1 p.m. Sunday on Springdale Lane, near Millersville.

A supervisor with Lancaster County-Wide Communications had few details on the incident, confirming there only that the explosion was connected to a gas leak near a home on Springdale Lane.

A coroner was called to the scene.

Steve Cook, director of business development for UGI, confirmed Sunday that one of the utility company’s employees died in the explosion and others were injured.

The workers killed and injured Sunday are not yet being identified.

Officials said the three injured UGI workers were outside the house when it exploded. All were trapped under debris and had to be rescued by firefighters, officials said.

They were taken to Lancaster General Hospital, where one is in serious condition and two are stable.

The workers were responding to reports of a gas odor in the neighborhood, Cook said.

“They were doing their investigation. That’s all we know at this point,” he said. “Obviously, there was an explosion. We are conducting an investigation” into what happened.

UGI has secured the area and is working with local authorities to monitor the scene, he said.

A resident was evacuated from the home before the explosion, according to rescue workers.

Jeannine Hughes, who was surveying the damage from the yard behind the blasted house, identified herself as the homeowner.

Witnesses said EMTs were monitoring firefighters at the scene because of the extreme heat conditions Sunday afternoon.

Debris from the house littered lawns more than a block from the explosion.

Heavier chunks of debris, including pieces of the roof and walls and broken furniture, were spread far from the blast, even hanging from nearby trees. The windows and doors in the house next door were blasted from their frames.

A neighbor who was in the street when the house exploded said it looked like a small mushroom cloud.

“It just exploded,” said Tracy Seiger, of Springdale Lane. “It was like a movie — the debris just flew up in the air.”

Residents are rushing down the street with waters, Gatorades for injured, emergency personnel

Barbara Hough Roda, the executive editor of LNP and LancasterOnline, was in the neighborhood Sunday and heard the blast.

“We heard it, we felt it,” she said. “Pictures fell off the wall.”

Many residents in the area are outside, trying to figure out what happened, Roda said.

“The neighborhood felt like it was going to blow,” she said. “It was horrible. It was worse than anything I've ever heard.”

Mark Smoker, who lives on Knollwood Road, parallel to Springdale, said the explosion was felt throughout the neighborhood and “caused some minor damage to some of the houses.”

A neighbor who lives several doors down from the explosion, who asked not to be identified, said the blast was so loud he thought something had landed on his roof.A woman, a few doors down the street, was outside surveying the debris in her yard and described the scene as “unreal".

Source:  LNP newspaper