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California

Video shows Murrieta gas explosion that killed a utility worker and injured 15 others

House Explosion
A firefighter and civilians train fire hoses on a burning home after an explosion and fire destroyed the home in Murrieta, sending up thick flames and closing several streets. One Southern California Gas Co. employee was killed.
(Andrew Foulk / AP)

A security camera captured a gas line explosion at a Murrieta home on Monday that left a utility worker dead and 15 others injured.

The video, captured on a neighbor’s Ring camera and obtained by KABC-TV Channel 7, shows the moment the blast rocked the Riverside County neighborhood.

Wade Kilpatrick, 31, a construction technician for Southern California Gas Co., was killed. Another employee of the gas company and three Murrieta firefighters were among the 15 injured, according to Murrieta Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief David Lantzer. The others who were hurt were all civilians, he said.

The explosion happened after Southern California Gas Co. responded to reports of a natural gas line that was damaged during work on the home in the 23500 block of Wooden Horse Trail on Monday morning. The explosion occurred at 12:10 p.m., after utility crews had arrived.

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Southern California Gas Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday on its investigation into the incident.

Company representatives said at a news conference Monday that a preliminary investigation showed that a contractor at the house did not call the utility’s designated 811 line so that workers could come mark the gas lines, as required by law. Cedric Williams, the company’s vice president of construction, said there is no record of the contractor filing a ticket with the company.

Officials stressed that under California law, homeowners, contractors and businesses are required to make that call before starting a digging project.

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Times staff writers Colleen Shalby and Soumya Karlamangla contributed to this report.


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