Home explosion in Du Quoin, kills one person

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DU QUOIN, IL. (KPLR) – Investigators are looking into what caused a powerful and deadly house explosion in Du Quoin, IL.

Neighbors say Harold A Pundsack, 83, was killed early Sunday morning when his house on S. Lake St. exploded. The force of the explosion could be felt for miles. As many as 12 homes were damaged and debris from the blast was found more than a mile away.

“It felt like the whole earth shook,” said one witness.

The Perry County Emergency Management director says he lives ¾ of a mile from the blast but also felt the explosion.

“My house shuttered when the explosion happened,” said David Searby.

As of Sunday night, there was no official cause for the blast. Some neighbors say they smelled gas in the area Saturday night.

Loretta Barrett and her husband were getting ready for church when the blast rocked them. They live next-door to the victim.

“My husband thought it was a bomb,” said Barrett. “It was absolutely horrendous, your worst nightmare.”

Friends of the victim say he loved to polka dance. Barrett says the only time she didn’t see him smile was when his wife passed away a few years ago.

She sat on her back porch, looked at the damage and said her home could be repaired but her friend will never be replaced.

An investigation is ongoing.