After a house explosion in Pottstown, five people were killed and two more were injured.
Authorities reported in a Friday update that a large blast leveled two residences in Pottstown, killing five people and injuring two others.
Since the explosion at Hale Street and Butler Avenue at 8 p.m. Thursday, all residents have been accounted for, according to Justin Keller, Pottstown borough manager.
As of midday Friday, Keller said, one of the two injured is in critical but stable condition while the other is undergoing surgery for unknown injuries.
Authorities have not released the victims’ names or ages since family notification is still underway.
Authorities underlined that the inquiry is still in its early stages, and the cause of the explosion, which was felt kilometers away, has yet to be determined.
Neighbors reported smelling gas, but investigators have not said whether this was the source of the explosion. However, according to Pottstown Fire Chief Frank Hand, a propane tank was discovered among the rubble.
Officials noted that, while the reason of the incident has yet to be discovered, they believe it was a one-time occurrence and that the community is secure.
Crews are also working to stabilize the scene so that police and ATF investigators can conduct an investigation, which they describe as a rigorous process.
Rain and heavy weather are forecast later in the day, so officials are working against the clock on Friday.
According to Hand, two homes, one of which is half of a twin home, were completely demolished, and roughly ten other homes nearby were severely damaged.
Hand described the scene as “very horrific.”
The American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania reported it has offered urgent emergency help to nine families (a total of 25 people), including housing, food, personal care items, and emotional support.
Residents in the community will be served free breakfast and lunch on Saturday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Pottstown Senior High School by trained disaster volunteers.
For students and staff, the Pottstown School District canceled classes on Friday.