Sun Prairie police: ‘Significant safety concerns still exist’ at site of deadly explosion; investigation complete

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SUN PRAIRIE -- Sun Prairie police on Monday, July 23 announced evidence collection has been completed at the site of the deadly gas explosion downtown on July 10.

Police said after on-site processing and evidence collection, the secured, fenced-in area was released to the city's building inspector and Public Works Department.

Those officials are now working to ensure the area is safe. A news release indicates "significant safety concerns still exist," and access to the area will remain restricted until the area is deemed safe.

Property owners can contact the Building Inspection Department at (608) 825-1184 to request access to the area.

Governor Scott Walker declared on Friday, July 20 a State of Emergency for the City of Sun Prairie and Dane County.

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Business owners and residents on Thursday, July 19 met with DOT officials, who discussed preliminary plans to reconstruct the damaged streets.

DOT Secretary Dave Ross told the crowd that the repairs could begin as soon as the area is cleared of debris. Ross said the DOT planned to move quickly once the investigation wrapped up.

The explosion killed Sun Prairie Fire Captain Cory Barr and destroyed six buildings downtown.

Recordings show that a construction worker called 911 to warn he could smell and hear a leak from a broken gas main just before the massive explosion. Bear Communications has said subcontractor VC Tech Inc. was installing a fiber optics network in the area before the explosion.  It's not clear if that crew struck the main.

Police on July 16 said they were days away from deciding whether to recommend criminal charges.

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