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Family Of Woman Killed In Ewing Gas Explosion Files Civil Lawsuit

Jan-Carabeo-web-social-pic-no-branding Jan Carabeo
Jan Carabeo joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News team ...
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By Jan Carabeo

EWING, N.J. (CBS) – There are new developments Friday regarding the deadly natural gas explosion in Ewing Township. The family of Linda Cerritelli, who was killed, has now filed a civil lawsuit against both PSE&G and contractor Henkels & McCoy.

Attorney Tom Kline with the law firm of Kline and Specter also released previously unseen photos to the public Friday.

The photos show close up the aftermath of the devastating blast in Ewing Township on March 4, as well as the pipe that was pierced by contractors.

The explosion killed Cerritelli, 62, and injured seven others.

“This was an accident that should have never have happened,” Kline said. “It was a series of horrible mistakes.”

Kline says the mistakes started with a mismarked gas line. As depicted in photos, he says yellow flags marked where crews thought that line was located.

“But the gas line took a turn,” Kline said. “And that’s something that should have been known and should have been marked out correctly by PSE&G, no doubt about that.”

Instead, contractor Henkels & McCoy pierced the pipe.

“And this damage was known but wasn’t reported for a period literally over two hours,” Kline said.

Along with Cerritelli’s death, 55 homes were damaged or destroyed.

This suit claims negligent and reckless conduct by the utility and contractor

“There being no turning off of the gas, no turning off of electricity, no calling of 911, no evacuation of the scene,” Kline listed.

Both PSE&G and Henkels & McCoy say they do not comment on ongoing litigation.

But Kline hopes everyone takes notice.

“So that utility companies and contractors can learn from this,” he said.

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