Police days from deciding on charges in Wisconsin blast

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 18:43:39-04

Police say they'll soon decide whether to recommend prosecutors file charges in connection with a natural gas explosion that killed a Wisconsin firefighter.

Authorities say a construction crew struck a gas main in downtown Sun Prairie on July 10, resulting in an explosion. Firefighter Cory Barr was killed as he helped evacuate people prior to the blast. Eleven other people were hurt. Six buildings were destroyed.

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.

Sun Prairie Police Lt. Kevin Konopacki told reporters during a news conference Monday that investigators are days away from deciding whether to recommend criminal charges. He declined further comment.

“It's imperative to me that I do not release any information as it relates to this investigation,” said Lt. Kevin Konopacki. “Because this investigation is twofold -- one, its finding out exactly what happened. How did this happen and was there any criminal negligence? We don't have the answer to that question yet, we're getting very close, like I said, and we’re making a lot of progress.”