By Terry Bartley
For Civitas Media
MADISON – Six people were injured and two are in critical condition after an natural gas explosion at an apartment complex on Josephine Avenue in Madison, W. Va. on Friday afternoon.
Authorities received a 911 call at approximately 2:00 p.m. The State Fire Marshall has concluded that the cause was an accidental gas explosion.
One of the patients is in critical condition and now has been identified as Loretta Adkins, 35, of Madison. Adkins has been transported to Cabell-Huntington Hospital’s burn unit by Health Net helicopter. Adkins was still in critical condition at press-time.
Neighbor and eyewitness, Brenda Ellis, confirmed that Adkins was originally transported to Boone Memorial Hospital by a private vehicle before authorities arrived on the scene. Ellis also saw a man with a shirt melted to his body that wanted to go to Boone Memorial Hospital. Ellis said she felt the blast in her house across the street.
“All of a sudden, the house, it sounded like a huge, huge explosion and the house shook. My first instinct was to run out front and I automatically saw that the apartment blew up,” said Ellis.
Ellis said the apartment complex had already been destroyed by the time she made it outside.
“It was more smoke and a little fire, it was not a big fire,” Ellis said, “it was bad. I mean it blew windows out and everything.”
Bryan Justice, director of the Boone County Ambulance Authority said he is pleased with the way his crew handled the call.
“Our units got on the scene really quick, triage along with the fire department. Both teams worked really well together and we got the situation taken care of relatively quickly,” Justice said.