Three-year-old passes away following Midland County explosion

MIDLAND COUNTY -- Saturday 1:55 p.m. Update: According to Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter, Delaney Tercero, 3, has passed away due to injuries sustained in the explosion on Thursday.

Photo Courtesy: Sheriff Gary Painter

She passed away around 1:00PM Saturday, August 11 at University Medical Center in Lubbock.

The other three members of the family injured in the explosion are still listed in critical condition.
The identities of the victims of the Midland County explosion have been released.

According to Sheriff Gary Painter the victims are 32-year-old
Auden Tercero,29-year-old Lucia Crereces, 3-year-old Delaney Tercero, and 2-year-old Dalayza Tercero.

Auden is currently in critical condition and had his breathing tube removed on Friday.

Lucia is on a ventilator, in very critical condition and is on a breathing tube.

Delaney who will turn 4 on August 16 is in extremely critical condition on a breathing tube.

Dalayza in extremely critical condition and on a breathing tube.

Sheriff Painter tells us that the family is requesting that the public please keep this family in their prayers as they have a very, very long way to go.

According to Sheriff Gary Painter, The Texas Railroad Commission inspected the propane connections at the scene and stated that the regulator and hose were ruled out as the cause of the explosion.

UPDATE: Sheriff Gary Painter released new details on the explosion in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

According to Sheriff Painter, his office first received word of the explosion Thursday morning when a 911 caller reported an explosion on the east side of the county about 20 to 25 miles Southeast.

When deputies arrived at the scene on East County Road 150 about a half mile East of South County Road 1040 they found that a double-wide mobile home had exploded.

According to Sheriff Painter, Deputies discovered a mother and 2 small children that had severe burns that were loaded into an ambulance and were transported to Midland Memorial Hospital.

A family of four were injured in the explosion, with three of them listed as in very critical condition and the fourth listed as in critical condition. All four have been airlifted to University Medical Center's Burn Center in Lubbock.

A horse that was at the residence got loose but was captured by Midland County Deputies and transported to a veterinarian for an examination.

People as far away as 15 miles reported their buildings shook and thought someone had ran into their building.

"We're praying for them right now," said Sheriff Painter, "It's very serious."

Sheriff Painter says that authorities believe that a pocket of gas built up underneath the property with some of the gas getting into the home. The mother was doing laundry and the dryer was on when the explosion happened.

"The power of compressed gas, the power of propane, when it gets into an enclosed area and it finds an ignition point it is a bomb. That's exactly what happened here," said Sheriff Painter.

Debris from the explosion is scattered for at least a hundred yards in every direction.

"You can't even tell that there was a double-wide mobile home there, there was no chassis, there was no frame, nothing that you could distinguish," said Sheriff Painter.

Authorities are now trying to figure out what caused the pocket of gas to build up.

"We have several gas companies that are coming out here to check to make sure whose line it is," said Sheriff Painter, "It appears that there is a gas line that is still leaking. The companies that we believe are in control of the pipeline are closing the pipeline in."

Sheriff Painter says that the pipeline is older and rusted to the point that it is no longer safe.

Gas leaking from the pipe is seeping up to the surface and was catching on fire throughout the morning. First responders will only be able to access the scene once the gas is removed from the pipeline and evaporates.

"Right now I want to stress that we are in deep prayer for the family. Two young children and a mother and a father. It's a serious time," said Sheriff Painter.

Officials have not released the names of the family members at this time.

Authorities are on the scene of a house explosion in Midland County Thursday morning.

According to the Midland County Sheriff's Office, the explosion happened just after 10 a.m. in the area of South County Road 1040 and County Road 150 east of Greenwood.

Two adults and two children have been badly burned in the explosion.

The victims have now been airlifted to the University Medical Center in Lubbock.

A few houses in the are being evacuated as a precaution as crews work the scene.

CBS 7 has a crew heading to the scene and will update this story as more information is released.

UPDATE: The story below reflects the reporters story.

Half of a Teddy Bear, and piles of debris. That’s all that’s left of a Midland County family’s home.

Midland County Sherrif Gary Painter said the scene is powerful.

“For a home to be obliterated like this, it’s just amazing. The power of compressed gas, the power of propane when it gets into a closed area, and it finds an ignition point, it is a bomb. And it’s exactly what happened here,” Painter said.

A mother, two young children, and another adult were home when the explosion occurred.

“There were people that were inside the residence at the time, they are in extremely critical condition. And again, we’re praying for them,” Painter said.

All four people are at the University Medical Center’s Burn Unit in Lubbock.

Midland County Fire Marshal, Dale Little, was at the residence to secure and evaluate the scene.

“I’ve seen explosions.  I’ve not seen one to this magnitude,” Little said.

Sheriff Painter was somber.

“But, uh, uh, it’s sad,” Painter said.

Midland County Sheriff’s Deputies, along with Midland Firefighters, and Department of Public Safety Troopers, all worked to investigate what caused the explosion.

“Evidentially, a pocket of gas built up underneath the mobile home, and got into the mobile home. The lady was doing laundry, the dryer was on and it exploded,” Painter said.

A leak in a natural gas pipeline, the culprit. And while people as far as 15 miles away felt the ground shake, the family’s neighbors were left unscathed.

First responders spent their day at the property, watching gas bubble up from the ground and catch on fire.

By the time the sun set, officials said the pipeline had been shut off.

“The gas is off, the fire is out,” Little said.

Several gas companies aided the city’s efforts. Their next step is to determine the owner of the pipeline.

“They’ll come along, and they can dig the lines out, and find out exactly who the lines belong to,” Little said.

Photo Courtesy: Sheriff Gary Painter