Tragedy struck Shenango Township in Mercer County this past Saturday night when a fiery explosion took one man's life and injured two others.
The explosion took place in the deceased man's garage at 659 Bedford Road in Shenango Township. He, his son, and a friend were working on the man's snowmobile in anticipation of our region's latest snowfall. The accident occurred shortly before 6 p.m., according to police.
Officials reported that the homeowner did indeed die from the blast and subsequent fire and that the man's son and friend were both badly burned from the flames. A neighbor told reporters that he heard some "tapping and cracking," but knew that the three men had been working on the snowmobile all day. "...I just happened to get up and I looked and I saw the garage was [on fire]," said the neighbor.
Police told reporters that the fire completely destroyed the garage and what is left of it will have to be torn down. Shenango Township Chief of Police said that he received information that indicated the men were using gas and working on small engines for either a snowmobile or ATV or both, when something went terribly wrong and the explosion occurred.
The man who died was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The man's friend was Life-Flighted to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio and his condition is not known at this point, although police say that he was badly burned. The deceased man's son was also burned when he was attempting to help his father and his father's friend. The son was taken to a local hospital via ambulance and his current condition has also not yet been reported. The Mercer County coroner has ruled the explosion an accident.
Source: WFMJ, "One man dead after Shenango Township explosion" 4 January 2014