INDIANAPOLIS - A thunderous, late-night explosion destroyed at least two homes in Indianapolis and set surrounding homes ablaze, causing injuries, authorities said Sunday.
The cause of the explosion wasn't immediately clear, but Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard dismissed reports of a possible plane crash as he arrived at the scene. Fire officials said separately that investigators would be checking whether natural gas was possibly involved but they had no further details on what was behind the blast that sent tall flames over the scene.
Ballard said at least two homes were destroyed and damage went on "for blocks on end."
Television video showed tall flames shooting from the sky and spreading to numerous homes.
"It was so strong that it clearly had an effect for blocks," Ballard said. Windows shattered in nearby homes, walls caved in and garage doors were knocked off their hinges.
He said police went door to door but that it wasn't clear whether there were fatalities. Residents were told to evacuate to a nearby elementary school.
Ballard said investigators will have to see what they find.
"We're going to need some comforting in the next few days," he said.
Capt. Rita Burris with the Indianapolis Fire Department told The Associated Press that the scene looked like something out of a war zone. "It's really messy," she said.
She said by phone that firefighters were working to containing the house fires early Sunday. She said there was preliminary information of injuries but she did not know exactly ohw many or the severity of the injuries.