House explosion injures three people

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The AssociatedPress

JOPLIN, Mo. -- A house exploded Tuesday morning, injuring the home's resident and two police officers who were sent to investigate a report of a suicidal man. Officer Greg Batson, 36, and Officer Tim Nielson, 26, were both injured in the blast. Nielson suffered burns over about 45 percent of his body, and Batson was burned over 35 percent of his body. Both were in critical but stable condition late Tuesday.

The resident of the house, David Riley, 41, had burns over 80 percent of his body and was in critical condition.

Riley was home alone when officers arrived at 10:18 a.m. Two neighboring homes were damaged in the blast, Onstot said.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said its initial report indicated that a gas line in the home was open and that natural gas was throughout the home when the explosion occurred.

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