Body recovered in Bensalem Liberty Gas Station explosion


By Alex Lloyd Gross

Firefighters from Bucks County Pa. recovered the body of Joe Vigilante, after he was trapped under debris near an underground fuel tank.  The tank exploded when Vigilante and a worker were doing work around the tank of the Liberty station located on the 1200 block of Bristol Pike, yesterday, June 12, 2018 . Apparently, they were trying to remove water from the tank when the explosion happened. One worker was badly burned. Vigilante was trapped under rubble. He is presumed to have died instantly.

There was speculation that the tank was holding propane. It was not, confirmed Fred Harran, Director of Public safety from Bensalem. “It was a gasoline tank, and the vapors were very dangerous,” They were so dangerous that PECO was called to cut power to adjacent homes and that power stayed out for over 12 hours. The vapors could ignite ant any time.  The gas had to be siphoned out of the tank, which helped.

As the search and recovery for Vigilante was called off until later today, June 13, 2018.  When crews entered the hole, they were made to wear breathing masks with oxygen bottle attached.. They could have no electronics and no lights. Anything could spark and cause another explosion.  Vigilante’s body was removed shortly after 6:00 PM.

The other worker has not been identified. He is still in the hospital and will be there for quite some time.   The future of the business is  up in the air. The area surrounding the gas pumps is destroyed and the old tanks must be carefully removed. There is speculation that the structure will be torn down. Traffic will be heavy in the area as on lookers will slow to see the scene.