Gas leak suspected in Michigan home explosion that killed 4, police say; victims ID'd

ByChris Boyette, CNN, CNNWire
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
4 dead, 2 injured after Michigan house explosion
A Michigan house explosion left at least four people dead and two others injured. It happened on Winters Lane in Whitmore Lake, MI.

WHITMORE LAKE, Mich. -- A gas leak is the suspected cause of an explosion that killed an Arkansas couple and their two adult children visiting Michigan for the holidays, police said Tuesday.

The victims were identified by Northfield Township Police as 51-year-old Hope Bragg, 53-year-old Don Bragg, 22-year-old Kenneth Bragg and 19-year-old Elizabeth Bragg. They were killed in the explosion Saturday that leveled the home in Washtenaw County, approximately 10 miles north of Ann Arbor.

RELATED: Michigan house explosion: 4 dead, 2 injured after blast at Whitmore Lake home

Police said no foul play is suspected in the explosion, which left Stephen Bragg, 16, also from Arkansas, in stable condition. The Braggs were visiting Hope's father, Richard Pruden, 72, who owns the house, according to police. Pruden was listed in critical condition.

The preliminary investigation found that a gas leak from an undetermined location caused the explosion, police said.

A vigil for the victims and their families is planned for Saturday at Whitmore Lake High School in Michigan, police said.

The explosion occurred about 3:50 p.m. Saturday. Officers received a call reporting debris found near Highway 23, adjacent to the street where the home was leveled, Northfield Township Police Lt. David Powell told CNN affiliate WDIV.

Powell said in a statement that the single-family residence was completely destroyed, with a debris field covering approximately two acres.

"It sounded like something I remember from war," said Scott McMillian, who lives about a mile from the house, told CNN affiliate WXYZ. "It was that loud."

Three victims were found dead at the scene, and three others were transported to a nearby hospital. One of the three taken to the hospital died later, police said.

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