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4 dead, 2 injured after Pennsylvania house explosion

The blast happened in Pottstown, northwest of Pennsylvania, around 8 p.m., officials said. Two people may be unaccounted for.
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Four people were dead and two others were injured after a house exploded in Pennsylvania on Thursday night, officials said.

Two additional people may be unaccounted for, Pottstown Borough Manager Justin Keller said.

The explosion happened around 8 p.m. in the borough, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The cause of the explosion was not disclosed.

Emergency personnel near the scene of a house explosion in Pottstown, Pa., on Thursday.
Emergency personnel near the scene of a house explosion in Pottstown, Pa., on Thursday.NBC Philadelphia

Officials with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the state fire marshal’s office were among the agencies responding to the scene, Keller told reporters.

The first 911 calls about the explosion came in at 8:07 p.m., said Todd Stieritz, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety.

Officials did not release the identities or ages of the four people killed.

The two injured people were taken to area hospitals, Keller said. Their conditions were not released.

Another briefing was planned for Friday.

Photos of the scene from NBC Philadelphia showed debris littering the street.

Russell Noll, who lives nearby, told the station that “I heard a huge explosion” and “I thought a bomb went off.” Another woman told the station that the blast blew out her windows.

Pottstown schools will be closed Friday due to the explosion, the district said.

Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez said that the explosion “destroyed three homes” and urged locals to steer clear of the explosion area. 

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families. When schools open again, our counselors and psychologists will be available to provide support. Thank you and stay safe,” he said in a message to parents.