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Investigators release update on Columbia City explosion investigation

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WOWO): The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office has ruled a fatal May explosion in Columbia City was caused by a gas leak and was most likely an accident.

An update on the investigation released today by the Indiana State Police says the victim had been near a gas valve at the back of the building when it exploded on May 22nd.

While the Fire Marshal’s report does not specifically state that 34-year-old Zachery Sparkman of LaOtto was smoking at the time of the explosion, he was identified as a “known smoker,” the report does say there was a “significant” leak coming from the valve and that the explosion was caused by an “independent ignition source.”

State Police investigators have not yet finalized their portion of the investigation, which is pending a final autopsy report.

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