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Firefighters work inside the remains of a house that exploded on East Street in Vernon, Conn., Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. Connecticut authorities say an explosion has destroyed a house in the north-central part of the state, and officials say seven people, including a young child, have been taken to hospitals. Authorities were searching what remained of the house for other possible victims. (David Owens/Hartford Courant via AP)

Connecticut house explosion injures 7, sends debris flying

VERNON, Conn. (AP) — Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house to explode in Connecticut, injuring seven people, including four children, and sending debris flying.

Police, fire and rescue crews responded to the home in Vernon on Thursday afternoon. Three of the victims were outside when rescuers arrived, while the other four were trapped in the rubble. Crews dug through what was left of the house to pull them to safety.

All of the victims are expected to survive, authorities said.

“It is truly a miracle that no one was killed inside this house,” said Vernon police Lt. William Meier. “It was just a devastating scene of catastrophic damage.”

When they arrived, firefighters heard screams coming from the flattened house and quickly went into the debris, Meier said.

Four children, all under the age of 16, were among the victims. They were taken to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where two were treated and released. The other two remained hospitalized Friday.

A 7-year-old boy appeared to suffer the most serious injuries, according to police.

Two adults were taken to Hartford Hospital. Another adult at the scene refused medical treatment.

Vernon officials had not released the victims’ names by Friday evening.

The blast blew the front door of the home across the street and into a neighbor’s yard. Glass and other debris littered the roadway.

“I never heard anything like it. It wasn’t just a vibration. The house shook,” neighbor Alan Fisher told the Hartford Courant.

Vernon Fire Chief William Call said on Friday afternoon that a gas company crew was inspecting the blast site.

“I am pretty sure they are aware this was some sort of gas incident,” Call said.

There were also propane tanks behind the home and neighbors turned off one of them after the explosion, Call said.


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