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Three Dead, Homes Destroyed in Allentown Gas Explosion

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Allentown, PATwo adults and a four-month old child were killed in a natural gas explosion late Wednesday night in eastern Pennsylvania. Two row homes were demolished by the explosion while another six were set on fire – destroying an entire row of houses.

The two dead are an elderly couple who were identified by their daughter-in-law as 74-year old Beatrice Hall and her 79-year old husband William. The baby has not been identified.

According to a report on msnbc.com, UGI Corp has said that one of its natural gas pipelines probably exploded causing the disaster. Dozens of high-power electrical lines were downed as a result of the blast, according to radio reports by msnbc.com. PPL Electric Utilities shut down power in the area.

The blast was so powerful that it was felt in Bethlehem, PA, nine miles away. One resident, Antonio Arroyo, who lived on the opposite end of the row from the house that exploded told reporters that it sent a flat-screen computer monitor 'sailing into his back.' "I thought we were under attack," he told reporters.

The fire reportedly burned for two hours before gas lines were shut down and firefighters were able to get the blaze under control. Between 500-600 people were evacuated from the area but have since been allowed to return to their homes.

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