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Explosion Caused By Gas Leak And Cigarette

Last updated on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

(NEW PEKIN) - Authorities say 48-year-old Lois Mauck and 35-year-old Ralph Thomas are in critical condition after being badly burned by a mobile home explosion on Hurst Road in Pekin.

Benny Thomas, Ralph's father, who's in his 60's, also suffered burns and is listed in serious condition.

They were taken by helicopter to U of L Hospital in Louisville Sunday. Three air-ambulances landed about a mile from the scene.

Pierce-Polk Township Fire Chief Robert Mull says the explosion threw glass, rugs, curtains and other debris about 25 feet from the mobile home.

The mobile home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Firefighters used about 1,500 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze. All that remains is a burnt out shell.

Mull says the explosion happened because of a gas leak. Thomas was working on the furnace when Mauck light a cigarette and that is when the blast happened.

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