Coroner: Woman Killed By House Explosion Blast, Not Fire

TYRONE, Pa. (AP) — A coroner has ruled that a woman killed in a house explosion in Pennsylvania last month was killed by the explosion itself rather than the ensuring fire.

The (Altoona) Mirror reports that Blair County Deputy Coroner Samantha Kimberling said “injuries from the blast" that occurred July 26 in Tyrone killed 83-year-old Anna Hunsicker. Kimberling said, based on last week's autopsy, that her death was likely instantaneous.

Reports from people at a restaurant next door that a woman was screaming from the house after the blast were mistaken, Kimberling said. Authorities believe that the screams came from the next house, which caught fire. A man and his granddaughter escaped without serious injury, the man carried out in a wheelchair, officials said.

AMED Authority director Gary Watters said Peoples Natural Gas had responded earlier to reports of a gas odor and was at the home and had called for additional resources to help just before the explosion, WTAJ-TV reported.

Several agencies are investigating what happened, which officials said appeared related to a waterline replacement project in the borough, The Mirror reported.