(HOUSTON) — Two people were killed in a building explosion at a manufacturing warehouse that sent shock waves across northwest Houston early Friday morning, authorities said.
Multiple homes and a strip mall nearby also sustained “significant damage,” Samuel Pena, of the Houston Fire Department, said at a press conference.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said his agency is conducting a full arson investigation, but noted that there is no reason to believe it was terrorist related or an intentional act.
The force of the explosion, at around 4:30 a.m. local time, sent the building tumbling and damaged homes throughout the area.
So far, there have been no reports of hazards to air quality, according to Acevedo.
Nearby residents reported doors being blown off their hinges, baseboards blown off and storm doors shattered, according to Houston ABC station KTRK. The force of the blast rattled windows for miles around.
Multiple structures appeared to be destroyed in the blast and the explosion left an enormous pile of debris in the area between Gessner Road and Steffani Lane in Houston’s Westbranch neighborhood, according to KTRK.
The owner of the business, John Watson of Watson Grinding, says the blast was a propylene gas explosion.
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