Police: 1 dead after Maine condo explosion

Updated at: 06/25/2013 3:35 PM
By CLARKE CANFIELD

(AP) YARMOUTH, Maine - An apparent gas explosion at a Maine condominium complex Tuesday killed one man, while leveling his condo in a blast that could be felt across town.

The body of Peter Corey, 66, was found in the rubble of his Yarmouth condo following the 6:20 a.m. explosion, said state police spokesman Steve McCausland. Some of the nearby condos were left uninhabitable, and three residents from the complex suffered minor injuries, officials said.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office and Maine Fuel Board are investigating, but McCausland said the cause apparently involved propane. The only source of fuel to the buildings was propane for heating and hot water, he said.

The explosion was similar to a Feb. 12 explosion of a home in Bath from a leak in a propane line; a woman inside the two-unit apartment building was killed and the building was leveled. The Fuel Board, which regulates propane and natural gas, also was investigating that explosion.

The Yarmouth condo complex is made up of groupings of modern, upscale attached homes. The explosion disintegrated one of the homes, turning wallboard into powder and leaving a large debris field around the house and other bits and pieces scattered around the neighborhood.

Residents more than a mile away reported feeling the impact. John Vincent said he heard the blast and felt the earth shake in his house a few hundred yards away.

"I initially thought something had hit my house, or a small plane had crashed into the woods," he said.

Vincent looked out, but couldn’t see anything; a neighbor later told him what happened.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)