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Cause of Indianapolis explosion still unknown

Authorities are investigating an enormous explosion that killed two people, and left an Indianapolis neighborhood uninhabitable Saturday night. Bombs have been ruled out as the cause of the explosion. 

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This aerial photo shows the two homes that were leveled and the numerous neighboring homes that were damaged from a massive explosion that sparked a huge fire and killed two people, Saturday night, in Indianapolis. Nearly three dozen homes were damaged or destroyed, and seven people were taken to a hospital with injuries, authorities said Sunday. The powerful nighttime blast shattered windows, crumpled walls and could be felt at least three miles away.

Matt Kryger/The Indianapolis Star/AP

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An enormous blast in the US Midwest that killed two people, obliterated two homes and made dozens more uninhabitable came with no hint of warning, and authorities on Monday were still trying to find the cause of the explosion.

Fire officials expressed amazement that only two people died late Saturday in the Indianapolis explosion, which rocked several houses from their foundations. Hundreds of residents evacuated. A fire burned for hours, engulfing dozens of homes.

Early Monday, Indianapolis public safety director Troy Riggs told WISH-TV that forensic investigators were talking with utility companies and others as they tried to determine the cause.

US Rep. Andre Carson, who represents the area, has said he had been told a bomb or meth lab explosion had been ruled out. Deputy Fire Chief Kenny Bacon said investigators hadn't ruled out any possible causes.

Citizens Energy had received no calls from people in the area smelling the rotten-egg odor of a chemical added to the odorless natural gas, utility spokesman Dan Considine said.

"Most of the time when there's a gas leak, people smell it," he said. "But not always."

Officials have not released the identities of the two people killed. A candlelight vigil was held Sunday for teacher Jennifer Longworth. She and her husband, John Dion Longworth, lived in one of the homes destroyed in the blast.

Deputy Code Enforcement Director Adam Collins said 80 homes were damaged, including 31 that might need to be demolished. He estimated the damage at $3.6 million.


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