4 children among victims killed in Pennsylvania house explosion

Four children were among five people killed in a home explosion Thursday night in Pennsylvania, according to a report.

Alana Wood, 13; Jeremiah White, 12; Nehemiah White, 10; Tristan White, 8; and Francine White, 67, perished in the Pottstown explosion that wiped out a home and severely damaged others, officials said Friday, according to WPVI-TV.

Eugene White, 44, and Kristina Matuzsan, 32, were left in critical condition, the station reported. It was unclear how the victims were related.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, authorities said.

Neighbor Kim Kulp says her grandchildren were the young victims’ best friends.

“Everyone is going to be affected by this. It’s just awful. It hit too close to my house,” Kulp told the station.

“Their kids loved our dog too, so they rode their bikes and followed us on walks,” neighbor Rebecca Scott said. “They were really great kids. This family didn’t deserve what happened to them.

Investigators are working at the scene of the explosion.
Five people were killed in the explosion.
Matt Rourke/AP

Stunned neighbors described the violent impact, which sparked a massive two-alarm fire.

“I really thought it was very loud thunder right next to it, but it rocked the area,” Christian Gonzalez told the station.

“The house shook and I thought it was an earthquake. We all went out to see what was going on,” another neighbor reportedly said.

An investigator, top center, moves to the scene of a deadly explosion in a residential neighborhood
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
Matt Rourke/AP

Classes were canceled Friday in the borough of 22,000, about 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to these families. When schools reopen, our counselors and psychologists will be available to provide support,” Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez reportedly wrote in a letter to families.

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