Woman burned in explosion; investigators blame broken gas line

A Columbia Gas crew was on Morgan Avenue Tuesday morning checking on a complaint of a gas odor in the neighborhood. Before they could find a leak, they heard an explosion and called crews to Bertha Coovert's home.

"I seen a lot of smoke. My front porch was covered in smoke. I could hardly see out," neighbor Joann Lane said.

Coovert's family says she was lighting her gas stove, like she does every morning, when it exploded. She ran out to her front porch and called for help. A Columbia Gas worker called emergency crews.

Firefighters and Columbia Gas employees spent all afternoon on scene trying to find what may have led to this gas explosion. They now say a corroded gas line separated and allowed gas to leak into the house.

"She was able to talk to us after the incident. We're very pleased that there were no fatalities here," says Battalion Chief Marshall Griggs.

Crews took Coovert to UK Hospital. She was released shortly after, and family members say she is staying with her sister.


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