House Blast Victim In 'Critical' Condition

1905 SW Navajo Lane a day after the explosion.
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The victim in the house explosion on Navajo Lane Monday is now said to be in critical condition.

An attorney for the victim's daughter tells 13 News that 81-year old Lucinia Tolliver is suffering from severe third-degree burns over a large amount of her body.

Attorney Mark Meers, who represents Tolliver's daughter, Erin Thurston, said Tolliver's ears and spine may have been damaged from the blast.

"She's still in critical condition," he said. He described Tolliver's situation as "very serious."

Meers said Thurston has been by her mother's side at KU Medical Center and she said that Tolliver has not been conscious.

A neighbor who rushed toward the explosion scene spoke to Tolliver seconds after the blast.

"Her hair was burned off on this side," Steve Moulin, a resident on Arrowhead Road, described. "And her hands looked like she had on rubber gloves, but it was actually skin," he said.

Moulin said Tolliver told him she had stepped outside after smelling gas and that she called Kansas Gas Service to report it. But a Kansas Gas Service spokeswoman, Dawn Ewing, said "That's incorrect." She did not explain further, noting that the incident is under investigation.

Tolliver's house was obliterated after a contractor in a neighboring yard on Arrowhead Road accidentally cut a gas line while installing a sprinkler system to the back of her house.