Indy blast: 2 homes destroyed, more afire

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Associated Press

Posted on November 11, 2012 at 6:01 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 11 at 6:30 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — At least one person is dead and officials say residents fled wearing only pajamas after a thunderous, late-night explosion destroyed at least two homes and set surrounding homes ablaze in an Indianapolis neighborhood.

Officials say the powerful blast caught sleeping people unaware as it knocked garage doors off their hinges, shattered windows and caved in walls of homes on the south side of Indianapolis.

The cause of the explosion and fires wasn't immediately clear, but Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard dismissed speculation of a possible plane crash.

Fire officials said separately that investigators would be checking whether natural gas was possibly involved, cautioning that the investigation was only in the preliminary stages. A smell of natural gas hung in the air on a nearby route as authorities barricaded all access routes to the neighborhood to all but official vehicles.

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