Unintentional natural-gas leak ruled cause of W. Chandler print-shop blast

A screen grab from a video released by Chandler police shows the moment of the explosion at Platinum Printing on Aug. 26.

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An unintentional natural-gas leak caused the explosion on Aug. 26 that blew the roof off Platinum Printing in West Chandler, according to findings released Tuesday, Aug. 31, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Chandler Police Department.

Authorities said they found no foul play in the incident.

“The findings by the ATF National Response Team and investigative partners determined that the explosion was caused by an unintentional natural-gas leak ignited by an independent ignition source,” according to a statement released by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent in Charge Gabriel Pinon.

Investigators have yet to determine the ignition source.

Southwest Gas, which joined ATF and Chandler PD in the investigation, issued a statement saying:

“Our collective hearts remain with those impacted by Thursday morning’s incident in Chandler, as well as their families. Southwest Gas thanks first responders for their response and thank investigators for their work at the scene of the incident. Southwest Gas is committed to determine the facts behind the unintentional natural gas leak which investigators have cited as a contributing factor to this incident. We are also committed to immediately implementing any operational enhancements resulting from the investigation.”

Brothers Andrew Ryan, 39, and Dillon Ryan, 29, who own the print shop, were badly burned in the blast and remain in Valleywise Health Arizona Burn Center.

Parker Milldebrandt, 29, a lifelong friend of the Ryans, who works in their print shop, also was injured in the blast and remains in the burn center, as does Glenn Jordan, 58, who owns All-American Eyeglass Repair a couple of suites west of the print shop in the strip center at the northeastern corner of Ray and Rural roads.

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GoFundMe pages have been set up to help the four victims of the print-shop explosion.

For brothers Andrew and Dillon Ryan click here:

For Parker Milldebrandt click here:

For Glenn Jordan click here:

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Andrew and Dillon Ryan

The four suffered burns across 16 to 30 percent of their bodies, mostly on their arms and legs, according to their physician.

The shop, which is the Ryan brothers only source of income, is a total loss.

The Chandler Sunset Branch Library, next door east of the shop, remains closed indefinitely after sustaining damage in the explosion.

Hallie Donohue, sister of the Ryan brothers and organizer of their GoFundMe page, wrote on their page  that Dillon Ryan underwent surgery Aug. 30 and is to undergo another on Sept. 2 for skin grafts on his arms.

Parker Milldebrandt

Donohue wrote that Andrew Ryan then went into surgery Monday after his brother came out, and that doctors believe that Andrew will not need skin grafts.

Sierra Milldebrandt, wife of Parker Milldebrandt, relayed through his GoFundMe page that he had surgery Aug. 30, that another is expected late in the week and that doctors are hoping to remove his breathing tube this week.

Glenn Jordan

There was no update on Jordan’s condition on his GoFundMe page.

Chandler police also released a new video it obtained of the moment of the blast: click here.

Lee Shappell
Lee Shappell became a journalist because he didn’t become a rocket scientist! He exhausted the math courses available by his junior year in high school and earned early admission to Rice University, intending to take advantage of its relationship with the Johnson Space Center and become an aerospace engineer. But as a high school senior, needing a class to be eligible for sports with no more math available, he took student newspaper as a credit and was hooked. He studied journalism at the UofA and has been senior reporter, copy desk chief and managing editor at several Valley publications.

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