By Connor Hughes –
“It’s about the most intense thing I’ve seen in Millersville,” said a volunteer firefighter.
Yesterday around noon, The Framery Etc. at 10 Manor Ave. exploded due to a drilling mistake that led to a gas leak. The Framery Etc. is a local owned business that was a staple in Millersville for over 30 years.
“From what I understand, the people that were putting in the fiber optic cables were drilling underneath the road and they drilled into a gas main, which caused the gas leak. Which in turn, caused the explosion you see down there. No one was hurt,” said Millersville Borough patrolman Officer William C. Young.
At approximately 11:53 a.m, fire units were dispatched to the scene of the explosion. Fire units also evacuated homes and businesses in the Millersville area, due to the risk of other houses being affected by the gas leak.
Not only did the explosion startle Millersville residents, it also left thousands without power, including Penn Manor High School. Trick-or-Treat night was canceled in the borough as well.
“More buildings could explode because the gas is still actively leaking as we are standing here,” said Officer Young.
Staff at the Barn Door, which is located only hundreds of feet from The Framery, reported the smell of gas.
“We smelled gas during our lunch hour,” said Gary McCauley of the Barn Door.
Although, the odor didn’t cause the evacuation, fear of additional explosions did.
“They didn’t evacuate us until after the explosion,” said waitress Tammy Nickels.
John Hanna, Owner of the Framery Etc. in Millersville, doesn’t believe this incident should go unpunished.
“I’m very upset. I lost a lot, I lost my business, I lost the store I’ve had for 36 years. Somebody is going to have to answer to a lot of people. And they put the fire police in a tough situation,” said Hanna.
What also makes the situation so difficult for Hanna is, the fact that he didn’t order for the installment of the cables.
“AT&T had contracted to put in fiber-optic cables, I had nothing to do with it,” added Hanna.
When asked if he would press charges, he said, “I haven’t thought that far ahead, but someone needs to give me some answers.”
Meanwhile at the high school, students and teachers were initially “in the dark” about the cause of the power outage.
“This is incredible,” said Penn Manor senior Landon Alecxih. “What is going on outside that could possibly cause this?”
“I think it’s kind of funny, aren’t there back-up generators?” Jess Huber, a Penn Manor senior, pondered.
During the remainder of fourth block, students were without lights or the Internet.
“I think it’s the first one for Penn Manor,” said Barb Trostle, a Librarian at Penn Manor. “I have to say I’m impressed by how the students maintained their calm.”
Some students have varying opinions about the reason for the shutdown of power.
“We have a student hacker, that is planning the demise of Penn Manor High School,” guessed Selena Hasircoglu.
“This power outage is really distracting me, I have Russian 3 homework to be doing,” said Zach Kauffman, a senior class officer.
The district server was down as well, frustrating Penn Points reporters who covered the story.
School officials were continuing to monitor the situation by Tuesday and had made plans to evacuate the school in the event of an emergency.
Cheyenne Weber, Jake Shiner, Brandon Schuman and Sarah Schaeffer contributed to this report.
Photos by Alicia Ygarza – just click on photos for slide show to appear-