Man injured in Briggs house explosion

BRIGGS, Okla. - A man was taken by helicopter to a Tulsa hospital after suffering injuries from a gas explosion at his home near Tahlequah, authorities said.

Police say the 50-year-old man is in critical condition with third-degree burns over 25 percent of his body.

Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said the explosion occurred around 7 p.m. near TNT Grocery in Briggs and could be felt by residents in the area.  Debris littered the highway by the house.

Officials say they believe an old propane leak went undetected because the house had been empty until the man moved into the three bedroom home less than a week ago.

A new stove and heater were recently installed.  Both were were propane powered.

The 500 gallon propane tank is estimated to have been around 20 percent full at the time of the blast.

Area residents say the explosion was felt five miles away and described it as "a car hitting a building."

The  home is a total loss.

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