Deadly Explosion in Jacksonville Under Investigation

The investigation of a deadly explosion in Jacksonville Friday is expanding. State Safety and Environmental agencies, along with Jacksonville police and fire departments are probing the blast at Gary's Lounge. A welder was reportedly cutting metal pipes from an abandoned underground gas tank when vapors blew up. The blast threw pavement and concrete onto a passing car, killing Junius Stith and injuring his passenger and that workman. What police don't know yet is whether anyone knew there was a risk of an explosion or if charges might be filed. State regulators say there are thousands of abandoned storage tanks they just can't locate, since new rules started in the 1980s. They urge anyone who might know where former gas stations are to use caution around exposed pipes and to report suspicious tanks or plumbing to the Division of Water Quality regional offices here in the East, Washington or Wilmington.