US & Canada

Indianapolis explosion destroys homes

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Media captionOne person was reported dead and a number of others injured in the explosion

A huge explosion in the US city of Indianapolis has destroyed two homes and damaged at least 14 others.

Two people were reported dead and 200 forced to evacuate. Four people were treated in hospital for minor injuries. More deaths have not been ruled out.

Dozens of firefighters attended the scene. The cause of the explosion remains unclear but a natural gas explosion is one line of inquiry.

The Indianapolis fire department said the scene resembled a war zone.

The blast took place on Field Fair Way and Towhees Drive late on Saturday.

Witnesses reported seeing two parents and two children pulled from one house that had been set ablaze.

Firefighters sifting through the rubble found two bodies.

Image caption Dozens of firefighters are attending the scene

The 200 people evacuated from the site were taken to a local school.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard attended the scene and ruled out the possibility of a plane crash.

He said the damage went on "for blocks on end".

"We're going to need some comforting in the next few days," Mr Ballard said.

Local resident Pam Brainerd told Associated Press: "I was sleeping on the sofa and all of a sudden, my upstairs windows were blowing out and my front door was falling in. My front door came off the frame. It was the largest bang I've ever heard.

"When I walked outside I saw the fire. There was a house engulfed in flames and I could see it spreading to other houses."

Capt Rita Burris of the Indianapolis fire department told AP the scene was like a war zone. "It's really messy," she said.

Television pictures showed flames shooting into the sky and thick smoke covering the area.