Five people were killed and two others injured when a house exploded Thursday night in a neighborhood about 40 miles north of Philadelphia, authorities said.
Police and firefighters in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were dispatched to the site just after 8 p.m., Justin M. Keller, Pottstown’s city manager, said. told reporters during a press conference on Thursday evening. They found “several victims who needed medical care,” he said.
Authorities initially confirmed four fatalities and two people hospitalized with injuries, but the death toll rose to five on Friday, Mr. Keller at a second press conference.
One of the injured was in critical but stable condition Friday afternoon and the other was undergoing surgery for unknown injuries at a hospital, he said.
Mr Keller said that as of Friday afternoon and “based on preliminary information from the investigation,” officials believed everyone had been held accountable.
The cause of the explosion was not yet known, officials said Friday. They declined to release the identities of the dead or injured and said they should inform relatives.
An investigation was underway, Mr. Keller said, and multiple agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police and the Red Cross, had dispatched personnel to the site late Thursday night. An arson and explosives team from Philadelphia was also on the scene to assist with the investigation.
“This is still an active emergency,” Mr Keller said, adding that residents of Pottstown, a borough of about 22,000, should avoid the area of the blast.
Video and Pictures local news outlets showed pieces of wood and other debris scattered around the site of the house and scattered across the street.
Pottstown School District superintendent Stephen J. Rodriguez said in a message to parents Thursday evening that classes on Friday would be canceled due to the explosion.