At least two people were killed in a pre-dawn explosion at an industrial building in the US city of Houston on Friday, police said.
“We do have confirmed fatalities in this case, at least two confirmed fatalities,” city police chief Art Acevedo told reporters.
The Houston Police Department has initiated a criminal investigation.
Earlier, CNN reported a fiery explosion erupted at about 4:15 am, adding that many people felt buildings shake.
Details about what exploded, the cause and whether anyone was seriously injured were not immediately available.
“This is still an active scene. Avoid the area. No evacuation order given at this time,” city fire chief Samuel Pena tweeted at the time.
“We will advise of the possible cause of the explosion as soon as we have concrete info.” Nearly every house in the area had extensive damage, including shattered windows and damaged garage doors, the local KPRC 2 TV news channel reported on its website.
“(The explosion) knocked us all out of our bed, it was so strong,” resident Mark Brady told KPRC.
“It busted out every window in our house. It busted everybody's garage door in around here... and closer toward the explosion over here, it busted people's roofs in and walls in and we don't know what it is... It's a warzone over here.” Brady said the explosion was extremely loud.
“This is a disaster,” he said. “This is a big disaster. I really don't know what happened... Houston we could use your prayers.” Another resident named only as Kim said: “The whole house is ruined."