Friday morning after a massive explosion apparently triggered by a broken gas line sent flames roaring through a neighborhood near San Francisco, killing six people and injuring dozens, officials said.
Fire crews are still working to douse the blaze and authorities have said there could be other casualties. The number of deaths was rising: San Francisco state Sen. Leland Yee told The Associated Press he was briefed at the scene Friday morning by the California Emergency Management Agency and at least six people have died.
California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado said at a news conference he knew of at least four people killed and more than 50 injured. He said a natural gas line ruptured at 6:24 p.m. Thursday near the blast but they're not yet sure why. The explosion was heard for miles and shot a fireball more than 1,000 feet in the air and sent frightened residents fleeing for safety and rushing to get belongings out of burning homes. The blast left a giant crater and sent flames tearing across several suburban blocks in San Bruno.
After the initial blast, flames reached as high as 100 feet as the fire fueled itself on burning homes, leaving some in total ruins and reducing parked automobiles to burned out hulks. At least 38 homes were destroyed and dozens more seriously damaged, fire officials said early Friday.