US police release dashcam video of gas main explosion that killed firefighter, injured 11 others


December 21, 2018 18:11:09

Miscommunication and an improperly marked gas main were to blame for an explosion on July 10 that killed a Wisconsin firefighter and injured 11 other people, authorities said.

Key points:

  • The blast happened after a subcontractor installing fibre communication lines struck the gas main
  • Off-duty firefighter Cory Barr was helping to evacuate the area when he was killed in the explosion
  • The tavern Mr Barr owned with his wife Abby, the Barr House, was destroyed in the blast

No one will face charges over the blast, which levelled a city block in downtown Sun Prairie in southern Wisconsin.

The explosion happened about 40 minutes after a subcontractor who was installing fibre communication lines struck the gas main, said Sun Prairie police chief Patrick Anhalt.

Police, firefighters and other emergency personnel raced to clear the area, including firefighter Cory Barr, who owned a downtown restaurant along with his wife, Abby.

Mr Barr was off-duty, but he rushed to the scene to help evacuate people and was leaving his restaurant with another firefighter when the explosion occurred.

Mr Barr was killed in the blast and 11 other people, including five other firefighters and a police officer, were injured.

Among the six businesses that were destroyed was the Barrs’ tavern, the Barr House.

One home was also destroyed.

Authorities released dashcam video on Thursday that was taken from a squad car that was parked about half a block away from the site.

It shows what appears to be five utility workers in hard hats and reflective vests crossing the street as the building erupts in a massive explosion.

They run away as debris rains down and a plume of smoke rises.





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