Cigarette may have caused Philadelphia gas explosion, official says

This Monday, July 29, 2013, photo, shows a row house collapsed following an explosion in South Philadelphia on Monday, July 29 2013.
Michael Giordano/AP

PHILADELPHIA A city councilman says a contractor's cigarette may have caused a gas explosion that leveled a Philadelphia home, injuring eight people.

Inspectors at the scene of Monday's explosion concluded a gas leak was to blame for leveling the unoccupied home, which was being remodeled. On Tuesday, they returned as they try to figure out what caused the leak.

Councilman Mark Squilla was at the scene and said a contractor had been trying to light the pilot on a water heater. Squilla says neighbors reported that the man lit a cigarette at one point and the house exploded.

The contractor remains in critical condition with burns. CBS Philadelphia reported that he was transported to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in critical condition with burns, then transferred to the burn unit of Temple Hospital.

Seven others were treated for minor injuries.

The explosion comes less than two months after a collapse that killed six people at a demolition site.