Four people died and three others were injured after a house explosion on a suburban street in Pennsylvania on Saturday spread flames to several nearby homes, shattering windows and causing walls to crumble, the authorities said.
One person remained unaccounted for late Saturday night, officials said.
The police responded to a report of a house explosion around 10 a.m. in Plum, a borough in Allegheny County in western Pennsylvania just east of Pittsburgh.
Three homes on Rustic Ridge Drive were leveled by the explosion, and about a dozen others were damaged, county officials said at a news conference Saturday night. What caused the explosion was not clear.
The Plum Borough Police Department, which did not release names or ages of the victims, said that two of the injured people were in stable condition and the third was in critical condition Saturday night.
Steve Imbarlina, the assistant chief for Allegheny County emergency services, said at the first of two news conferences on Saturday that officials were still investigating a cause for the explosion. He said that representatives from several gas companies were at the scene on Saturday and cooperating with investigators.
“We ask anyone who is not from the neighborhood to please stay away and let folks do their job,” Chief Imbarlina said.
Photos and videos of the scene showed a row of splintered homes emitting smoke. Firefighters walked through piles of wood and ash. In footage obtained by WTAE, a local news station, the explosion can be heard piercing the quiet of a nearby baseball game. In another clip, a doorbell camera appeared to capture the moment of the explosion, which sent a plume of fire and smoke into the sky.
Gov. Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that his administration and the state’s emergency management agency were “coordinating with and supporting county and local emergency responders.”