Deadly Tennessee House Blast Was No Accident

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II | February 14, 2014

Federal investigators said Tuesday that they have ruled out accidental causes such as a gas leak or electrical malfunction in a deadly house explosion in Tennessee and were trying to figure out what triggered the blast.

Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were in Lebanon, Tenn., trying to figure out where in the house the explosion happened Monday. It killed one person whose name was not released.

Agency spokesman Michael Knight said investigators have ruled out accidental causes and that authorities searched the property Monday night but found no other explosives. He said it appears to be an isolated blast.

An injured person was also found at the scene, but Knight said authorities were still trying to determine whether the person was hurt in the explosion. The house is intact but several rooms were damaged by the blast, Knight said.

Neighbors said an elderly couple lived in the home.

David Hughen arrived at his house about an hour after the blast, and noticed that the front and back windows of the nearby home had been shattered.

“With the house as well built as it was, it had to be a huge explosion,” Hughen said of the home built four years ago. “It’s just a huge mystery that a terrible thing has happened to good people.”

Crews in white hazardous materials suits were walking around the property, located in a cul-de-sac in a rural area of Wilson County.

Investigators were processing evidence at the scene and interviewing neighbors, Knight said. He did not know the status of the injured person Tuesday morning.

Another neighbor, Charles Thompson, said the blast in the small neighborhood has left him shaken.

“It didn’t appear that they were the kind of people this would happen to,” Thompson said. “It’s very scary.”

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