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AFP
January 25, 2020

Explosion kills two, wrecks houses in Houston, Texas

World

AFP
January 25, 2020

HOUSTON: A large industrial explosion killed at least two people in the US city of Houston early Friday, shattering windows and damaging homes as shocked residents emerged to survey the destruction.

Police chief Art Acevedo said two fatalities were confirmed after the pre-dawn blast at a manufacturing firm scattered debris half a mile (800 metres) away. Firefighters, emergency services and police rushed to the scene when a loud blast was heard across much of the Texan city at about 4:15 am.

Officials said the explosion had ripped through a grinding and manufacturing business 29 kilometres northwest of down town Houston. The property and surrounding premises were reduced to smoking, blackened wreckage, with rubble strewn around and many windows and doors blasted out.

A security camera video appeared to show a huge fireball erupting at the moment of the explosion. "We do have confirmed fatalities in this case, at least two confirmed fatalities," Acevedo told reporters. "The Houston Police Department has initiated a criminal investigation." Many houses in the area were damaged, including shattered windows, collapsed roofs and broken garage doors.