Two dead after Seattle-area blast levels home, shatters school windows

By REUTERS
February 24, 2016 04:14
1 minute read.

SEATTLE- An explosion so strong some people thought it was an earthquake leveled a mobile home in western Washington state on Tuesday, reportedly killing two residents trapped inside, and shattering windows at a nearby elementary school, authorities said.

"The force of this explosion basically turned everything into popsicle sticks," said Kitsap County Sheriff's Office spokesman Scott Wilson, referring to the leveled triple-wide mobile home. "There is not much left, it's just debris." Local media reported on Tuesday afternoon that the remains of two people had been found in the rubble.

Authorities guided by a cadaver dog were searching for the residents amid the ruins, which caught fire after the explosion, Wilson said.

Emergency officials were working to determine the cause of the early-morning blast, which rocked the area of Port Orchard, some 20 miles west of Seattle, Wilson said.

The force of the explosion shattered windows at Mullenix Ridge Elementary, which borders the residential property, Wilson said. School officials were repairing the damage, though classes were expected to carry on normally.

Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were assisting in the investigation, said Kent Plemons, an official in the agency's Seattle office.


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