Phillipsburg house explosion victim identified, cause remains under investigation

PHILLIPSBURG N.J. (Warren County) – The person severely injured in Saturday’s house explosion remained hospitalized Monday with serious bodily injuries, according to Phillipsburg Police Detective Lt. Michael Swick.

The victim is identified as Clay Metzgar, 37, of Apartment B 76 Filmore Street, Swick said. He was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township for burns over 50 percent of his body, Phillipsburg Mayor Stephen Ellis said Saturday.

Daniel Lavelle spokesperson for Lehigh Valley Health Network told RNJ, “Lehigh Valley Health Network has no information to release on that person, nor can we confirm or deny the individual is at LVHN. Per hospital policy if a family, security or authorities ask us not to release information then we cannot release anything.”

Three people were injured in the blast,which occurred around 5:15 p.m.,according to officials.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation by Elizabethtown Gas, the Phillipsburg Police Department, the Warren County Prosecutors Office and the Warren County Fire Marshall.

Duane Bourne spokesperson for Elizabethtown Gas said today “We still are working with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”

Two Homes that were damaged in Saturday evenings explosion at 74-76 Filmore St. in Phillipsburg have been demolished, according to Phillipsburg Fire Chief Richard Hay.

Hay said there awaiting structural engineer’s assessment on 78 and 80 Filmore St.

As a result of the explosion, there will be both vehicle and pedestrian traffic restrictions for Tuesday, June 7 on Filmore Street.

-Filmore Street will remain closed from Summit Ave to Hudson Street. In the morning, Filmore Street will be open for buses only from 7:55-8:15.

-Children will be able to walk to the school along Filmore Street. In the afternoon, Filmore Street will again be opened from 11:55-12:15 for buses only.

-Children will again be able to walk home along Filmore Street. Officers will be present in the morning and afternoon for the children’s safety.

By: Jay Edwards
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