Devastating drone footage shows the extent of the damage caused by the blast
Video credit: WTAE via AP
Five people have been killed after an explosion at a house in western Pennsylvania in the United States.
The blast destroyed three houses and damaged at least a dozen more.
The explosion occurred in Plum, a town about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Plum Borough Police Chief Lanny Conley said the bodies of four adults and one teenager were recovered after the blast shortly before 10.30am (3.30pm UK time) on Saturday.
“This is certainly a sad, sad day and a sad time, for not just the folks in Plum but all the folks in the community and in this region,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
Of the three people taken to hospitals, two were released while one remained in critical condition, said Steve Imbarlina, deputy director of fire and emergency services for Allegheny County.
Some 57 firefighters were treated at the scene for minor issues.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office is expected to provide additional information about the deceased victims.
“Please give us some time to deal with this situation and give the families your respect and give them some space to deal with this tragedy,” Conley said.
Crews from at least 18 fire departments worked to battle the flames in the aftermath of the blast.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
The probe may be a “slow and long process” that could include forensic testing, Imbarlina said, and it could last “months if not years”.
Household gas and electric services were shut off as a precaution, but authorities began restoring electricity to most homes on Sunday.