The Latest: Gas company IDs worker hurt in motel explosion

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Posted: Aug 19, 2015 7:52 PM
The Latest: Gas company IDs worker hurt in motel explosion

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The latest on an explosion that leveled part of motel in Washington state (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

Cascade Natural Gas has identified the worker injured in the motel explosion in Bremerton, Washington, as 59-year-old Larry Jennings.

The Bremerton man is listed in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Jennings was injured Tuesday in a natural gas explosion at a Washington state motel. He works for Cascade Natural Gas and was responding to a report of a gas leak at the time of the blast.

Police say they are investigating whether a person leaving the motel could have damaged a gas line before the explosion destroyed part of the building.

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3:09 p.m.

Police say they are investigating whether a person leaving a Washington state hotel could have damaged a gas line before an explosion destroyed part of the building.

Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan says they received a report of someone going out of the building, possibly by jumping out a window, near the gas meter. Detectives are checking to see if someone hopped out the window and may have damaged the line.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board has called back its investigators because local officials said the gas meter likely was damaged just before the reported leak, and as a result, would not fall under its jurisdiction.

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1:50 p.m.

Bremerton Fire Chief Al Duke says no one was killed in the explosion that destroyed part of a motel in Washington state.

Duke says cadaver dogs found no bodies Wednesday in the debris at the Motel 6 in Bremerton. He says two people were unaccounted for, but when authorities pinged their cellphones, they showed up well south of the area of the explosion.

Authorities are trying to determine what caused the gas leak at the hotel and subsequent explosion that critically injured a gas company worker Tuesday night.

Minutes before the blast, the hotel's acting manager had evacuated the building because she could smell and hear a gas leak.

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10 a.m.

Federal authorities will investigate the explosion that destroyed part of a hotel in Washington state.

Bremerton Fire Chief Al Duke says officials with National Transportation Board will respond, and that the inquiry could take several weeks.

The Tuesday night blast critically injured a gas company worker minutes after the acting hotel manager had evacuated the building due to a gas leak.

Duke says two firefighters were also blown back 20 feet by the force of the explosion. One suffered bruised ribs and another a concussion. He says they are recovering at home.

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9 a.m.

Two people are unaccounted for after an explosion demolished part of a Motel 6 in Bremerton, Washington.

The Tuesday night blast also critically injured a gas company worker minutes after the acting hotel manager had evacuated the building due to a gas leak.

Bremerton Fire Department Chief Al Duke told the Kitsap Sun (http://bit.ly/1JqTL1O ) that the missing people may not have been in the building at the time of the blast, but until they were located the search would continue.

Bremerton is located west of Seattle, across Puget Sound.

The motel manager said the facility had about 65 guests in 42 occupied rooms, and the explosion destroyed about one-quarter of the building.