TODAY   |  March 05, 2014

1 dead, several injured in NJ gas explosion

A gas explosion at a condominium complex in New Jersey on Tuesday killed one person and damaged as many as 55 homes. The explosion happened after electrical workers hit a gas line. Witnesses said it looked like a tornado had hit. WNBC’s Tracie Strahan reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a look now at a tragic situation under investigation in new jersey this morning. a massive explosion triggered by a gas leak that killed at least one woman and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes. tracy strahan from wnbc, our sister station here in new york, is at the scene. good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt, good morning, where officials will be returning in about an hour from now with what's left of these homes. homes reduced to rubble here. they'll be trying to pinpoint what exactly led to the massive blast that led to several terrifying moments.

>> this loud explosion shook me up, paintings on the wall fell. there was a crack in one of my walls.

>> officials say the explosion happened tuesday after workers who were trying to make electrical repairs hit a gas line at a condominium complex in new jersey.

>> the person that was operating down there felt they had struck something. the explosions just happened. we're not sure how it happened.

>> they shook the house and just a terrible, terrible explosion.

>> the explosion killed one woman, injuring seven others, the blast so severe it damaged as many as 55 homes in the complex causing an aftermath that looked like a tornado had struck.

>> looked in the sky and you can see all the insulation and debris coming down. we thought maybe ha plane crashed.

>> reporter: now, police say none of the injuries were life threatening. and we're hearing that safety officials from osha will be back on the scene conducting their own investigations into this explosion, matt.

>> tracy, thank you very much.