The 6 deadliest Butler County incidents of the last 50 years

Editor’s Note: This story was first published on Aug. 25, 2019.

The killings of four family members in a West Chester Twp. apartment on April 28 is one of the deadliest single incidents to happen in Butler County in the past 50 years.

Here are the deadliest single incidents in the county over the past half-century:

• Ruppert family murders, 1975: The 11 deaths of the Ruppert family on Easter Sunday in 1975 are the largest single-family execution in Ohio. James Ruppert, then 41, fatally shot 11 members of his family, including his mother, brother, sister-in-law and their eight children.
• Heaton Avenue fire, 1988: A house fire on Heaton Avenue on June 7, 1988, killed seven people, five of whom were children. The fire was believed to be caused by a box fan.

• Union Twp. crash, 1990: A two-vehicle crash in West Chester Twp. (Union Twp. at the time) killed five people.

• Madison Twp. crash, 1991: A motor vehicle crash killed five people in in Madison Twp.

• April 20, 1994: Four people died in a mid-morning explosion at the AK Steel coke plant in Middletown.

The blast happened at 10:25 a.m. on April 20, 1994, and the the victims were repairing a 30-foot-diameter, 80-foot-tall tank. They were inside the unit, and the explosion caused a flash fire that was almost immediately extinguished, according to reports.

The accident occurred in the byproducts section of the plant, which was shut down due to the repairs.

The victims were employed by an outside general maintenance contractor doing the repair work. Three of the victims died on the way to area hospitals. The fourth victim died at AK Steel.

No other injuries were reported.

• West Chester homicides, 2019: On April 28, West Chester Twp. police officers found four members of a family shot to death in an apartment, bleeding from their heads. They were Hakiakat Singh Pannag, 59, his wife, Parmjit Kaur, 62, their daughter, Shalinderjit Kaur, 39, and Parmjit Kaur's sister, Amarjit Kaur, 58.

Source: Butler County Coroner’s Office; UPI wire archives


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