The explosion leveled an Ocean County home and caused more than 75 homes to be evacuated, including one of a young mother.
"My windows blew out of my house, and I dropped, and I covered my daughter, because she was next to me," said Stafford Township resident Melissa Lewis to WCAU. "I stood up, and I heard them screaming outside, and there were people being taken to the ambulance."
The blast was caught on a police car dashboard camera after police showed up to inspect an alarming odor.
It was quickly confirmed that it was a gas leak and the nearby homes were evacuated.
Seven gas workers were injured in the explosion, said NJ Natural Gas Spokesperson Mike Kinney. One suffered extremely critical injuries and required CPR at the scene. That man and another gas worker were medevaced to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center's Trauma Unit where they remained in critical condition, said Kinney.
Six firefighters also suffered minor injuries, most experiencing concussion-like symptoms and were taken to the hospital. All but one were treated and released, said Stafford Twp. Volunteer Fire Chief Jack Johnson.
Two EMTs were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries and were released.
The blast could be felt up to one mile away, said officials.