Search Goes On For Cause Of Massive Blast At Condo Complex - KMSP-TV

Search Goes On For Cause Of Massive Blast At Condo Complex

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More residents returned to the site of the deadly explosion in Ewing as more details emerge about the investigation. Crews also began cleaning up the destruction today.

It was the first of what is sure to be many days on the road to recovery for this community.

"Something caught my eye in the picture and I thought, gosh that looks like my townhouses," Karen Hassall said.

Hassall was watching TV at her mother's house in Ocean County when her fears were confirmed.

A gas explosion leveled portions of the South Fork condo complex where she owns a home.

Hassall saw the damage up close for the first time Thursday.

"I lived here many years and have fond memories and I still own it, so of course and a lot of my wonderful things are there, but they're things as I said before," she said.

Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann said a worker with sub-contractor Henkels and McCoy ruptured the gas line.

Fox 29 has learned that a work crew spoke to Linda Cerritelli before the blast claimed her life.

"I have been told that there was some contact with the individual at that house. What was said I have absolutely no privy to at this particular point in time," Steinmann said.

"Her grandson, that was the love of her life," Dawn Reillo said.

Reillo was once Cerritelli's workout instructor and got to know her while the 62-year-old walked her dog around the neighborhood.

"You would never think she was 62. She was a very young 62. Very active, healthy vibrant, kind," she said.

While crews boarded up the town homes still standing, city leader rounded up donations for the now homeless families at the Ewing Community Center.

"It's been excellent; people are calling from all over. A lot of people from Ewing, but also in surrounding towns are just so willing to help out, people have been very generous," Ewing Director of Community Affairs Ted Forst said.

As cleanup gets underway, Hassall is trying to forge on, looking for a silver lining.

"One day at a time, let it set in, call my insurance company and be grateful that I'm here," she said.

Steinmann said the investigation into the explosion is far from over.

They plan on interviewing all the workers at the beginning of next week.

Many of them have been recovering from injuries they got in the blast.

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