Brothers, ages 10 and 12, are among five people killed in a house explosion in a small Pennsylvania town.
Four young brothers between the ages of nine and 13 were killed in a house explosion that also killed their grandmother and left a married couple seriously ill.
Police have identified Jeremiah White, 12, and Nehemiah White, 10, as the two boys who died in Thursday’s explosion in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, which has yet to be explained.
The boys’ two brothers, Tristan, 9, and Alana, 13, were also killed. The fifth person killed was the boys’ grandmother, Francine, 67, according to a report. go finance me page created by the older sister of the dead brothers, Destiny McKee.
The father of the four children killed in the explosion and his wife are also seriously ill. Eugene White, 44, and his wife Kristina Matuzsan-White, 32, remain in the hospital.
The cause of the explosion is still being investigated, City Manager Justin Keller said at a news conference Friday.
All seven members of the family lived in the house at the time of the incident.
The explosion occurred shortly after 8 pm Thursday in the small town located about 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia, at Washington Street and Butler Avenue. First responders arrived at the scene shortly after 7 pm, following calls from witnesses.
According to a GoFundMe page dedicated to victims’ burial expenses, the four children who died in the home explosion are identified in this image: Jeremiah, 12, Nehemiah, 10, Tristan, 9, and Alana, 13.
Jeremiah and Nehemiah White (left), ages 10 and 12, respectively, were among five victims killed in the Pottstown, Pennsylvania, blast on Thursday night.
Eugene White (left), 44, the father of the four deceased children, and Kristina Matuzsan-White (right) are said to be in critical condition.
An old wedding photo posted by Matuzsan-White (center) shows her marriage to Eugene White (second from left), accompanied by the four children who died in the house explosion: Alana (first from right), Jeremiah and Nehemiah, and Tristan White.
A pair of twin houses were also reported to have been destroyed, according to the Pottstown Mercury.
A local Facebook group post for the area claimed that the area smelled strongly of gas several weeks ago, but there has been no confirmation that the explosion is gas related and no connection has been found between the gas line from the house and the propane tank.
On Friday, Cathy McKee shared the deaths of her sons, Jeremiah and Nehemiah, on Facebook.
“Today I learned that I lost my two youngest children, Jeremiah and Nehemiah, in the house explosion in Pottstown,” he shared.
‘My mind has yet to accept the reality that I will never see her smile again, my heart is so broken I cannot begin to express the pain. Please pray for me, my family and the families affected by the tragic accident,” McKee added.
Mother Cathy McKee shared the passing of her two sons and brothers, Jeremiah and Nehemiah, on Facebook on Friday.
Caution tape cordons off the scene of the deadly explosion in a residential neighborhood in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, on Friday morning. The explosion also destroyed two other houses.
The house exploded in Northwest Philadelphia. It is not known what caused the explosion to occur.
The incident occurred at Washington Street and Butler Avenue. Rescuers arrived at the scene shortly after 7 p.m., following an explosion call.
An investigator, top center, moves through the scene of Friday’s deadly explosion.
Debris could be seen scattered throughout the property where the house once stood after last night’s explosion.
Investigators conducted a search of the home on Friday as the investigation into the cause of the explosion continues.
Residents of the neighborhood hear a loud noise when the explosion occurred just 24 hours ago. In the photo: investigators working at the scene of the deadly explosion on Friday.
People living in the neighborhood say they heard a loud bang and then came out to see a bunch of houses damaged or destroyed.
“I heard a big bang,” said Russell Noll, a resident. NBC10 after the explosion. ‘I thought a bomb had gone off. I thought someone had dropped a bomb somewhere. And then all the sirens started wailing. And it wasn’t too far from where I lived.
“So I started walking to where the sirens and the ambulance were going and it was just a big bang around the whole area.”
Another resident, Ashley Miller, said she was sitting on her bed when the back window of her room exploded.
“We thought there was an earthquake going on or someone hit the building,” another neighbor, Katie Washabaugh, told fox 29.
The other two homes that were destroyed in the blast were on the corner of Butler and Hale St in the small Pennsylvania town.
Local police and firefighters, as well as state police, the ATF and the Red Cross are still on the lookout as the investigation is ongoing.
The local chapter of the Red Cross announced that it would help the victims with temporary accommodation at Pottstown High School.
‘The American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania has already provided a total of 9 families [25 people] with immediate emergency assistance, including shelter, food, personal care items and emotional support, following Thursday night’s explosion in Pottstown,” Red Cross spokeswoman Alana Mauger said in a statement.
Schools in Pottstown, which has about 22,000 residents, were canceled for all students on Friday.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those families,” Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez wrote. “When schools reopen, our counselors and psychologists will be available to provide support.”