Woman, 75, dies in Pa. explosion

June 07, 2003

BELFAST TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police on Friday were investigating the cause of an explosion at a home in Belfast Township where a 75-year-old Warfordsburg, Pa., woman was found dead, police said.

Police went to the house at 1719 Mountain Road Thursday night after getting a 911 call, police said.

The back and two sides of the house appeared to have been blown out by an explosion, police said.

The victim, Betty Clark, was found lying dead in the living room of the house.

A structural collapse team was called in from Blair County to secure the residence, police said.

Police believe the explosion occurred Tuesday night, based on interviews with witnesses. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, police said.

An autopsy conducted Friday listed blunt force trauma to the upper chest and hip areas as the cause of Clark's death, police said.


Gene Mellott, chief of the Needmore Volunteer Fire Department, said the house was served by a gas-fired furnace and stove.

"We are assuming that was the cause," he said.

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