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Natural gas explosion leads to man’s death


Natural gas explosion leads to man’s death


The Associated Press
Issue date
: 9/4/07

ONAWA — A man injured in a natural gas explosion in the basement of a vacant house he owned has died.

Earl Thelander, 80, died Saturday at Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, Neb.

Thelander was hospitalized Tuesday with burn injuries after an explosion damaged the house in rural Onawa.

The Monona County Sheriff’s office said Thelander had plugged in a fan to help vent fumes from a propane line leading to the furnace that had been cut.

Authorities said they believed burglars were stealing copper lines from the house and had taken the water lines and apparently had cut the gas lines before fleeing.

After the explosion, Thelander drove about two miles to his home. He was being treated at the Omaha hospital for second-degree burns over 40 percent of his body.

Visitation and a prayer service were set for Wednesday evening at Rush Family Care Service in Onawa. A funeral service is scheduled for this Thursday.

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