Four Dead, Two Injured, Two Missing in Pottstown Explosion

POTTSTOWN PA – A Thursday (May 26, 2022) explosion of still-unannounced origin, which leveled a home and damaged others shortly after 8 p.m. in an area bordered in part by Hale Street and Butler Avenue, left four people dead, two others hospitalized, and two not yet accounted for, borough officials reported.

Four Dead, Two Injured, Two Missing in Pottstown Explosion
Debris from Thursday night’s explosion litters Hale Street and the rooftops of nearby homes, and was accompanied by downed wires

The victims were not expected to be publicly identified until Friday at around noon, they added.

Dozens of first-responder units from across several counties were rushed to the scene to help extinguish fires, deal with smoldering ruins, and begin a clean-up of debris scattered over rooftops, vehicles and streets of adjacent properties. Water was reportedly being poured onto smoking hotspots as of early Friday (May 27).

Four Dead, Two Injured, Two Missing in Pottstown Explosion
Smoke billowed for hours at several parts of the scene. Firefighters continued to douse hotspots through early Friday morning

An investigation into the incident is continuing. Called into the area to offer assistance were representatives of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Pennsylvania State Police, and fire marshal’s offices. The American Red Cross also arrived to set up an emergency assistance site for the public.

The Pottstown School District canceled all classes Friday.

Four Dead, Two Injured, Two Missing in Pottstown Explosion
Pottstown Borough Manager Justin Keller, at center, addresses the media accompanied by borough police representatives

Borough Manager Justin Keller (above), accompanied by Pottstown police, fire and emergency services personnel, held a press conference later in the evening to provide the media with information that was known so far.

A variety of media outlets published video, photo, and written articles regarding the explosion and its death toll. The Post compiled a linked list of them for its readers’ use, below:

Photos by Ted Hodgins for the Perkiomen Township Fire Company, used with permission