Gate City Explosion: NTSB suspects gas leak to blame for fatal blast

An NTSB investigator talks about the investigation into the fatal Gate City explosion during a news conference, Wednesday, December 18, 2013. (

The National Transportation Safety Board held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to update the media on its investigation into the deadly explosion in Gate City.

Watch the news conference video above or click here.

The NTSB is probing the explosion that rocked an apartment building early Tuesday morning, killing 40-year-old Tyrennis Mabry, and injuring several others.

Investigator Ravi Chhatre offered his condolences to the victims and their families then went on to say a gas leak is likely to blame for the blast that has displaced several families from their homes.

"We believe it's a gas explosion," Chhatre said. "Our investigation is preliminary. The very reason that NTSB is here is that we suspect it's a gas leak, but everything will be confirmed after we start our lab work."

According to Chhatre, the NTSB's investigation could last between nine months to one year.

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