Fire marshal’s report: Explosion accidental

PNT Staff Report

The state fire marshal’s office says a natural gas explosion in a Portales home that killed a 91-year-old woman was accidental.

Clytie Calton died at a Lubbock, Texas, hospital Jan. 26 — three days after she was injured in the blast at her home on South Avenue I Place.

The office says a slow-leaking waste water line from a washing machine in the laundry room ran over a natural gas line.

The office says the waste water line appeared to have been leaking for a long time, causing the gas line to corrode and fail.

The agency also says gas built up under the house and eventually exploded.

State fire investigator Mikel Ward says Calton was standing over the area with the largest concentration of gas and the weakest point in the flooring when the explosion occurred.

The fire marshal’s office did not release the results of its investigation publically until Monday. Ward briefed the family on his findings on Jan. 31.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.