Indianapolis explosion levels homes; 2 dead

INDIANAPOLIS — Authorities Sunday morning started letting some residents back into the Richmond Hill, Ind., neighborhood where two people died in an explosion but houses nearest to the blast remained off limits.

Fearing a gas explosion, authorities ordered an evacuation Saturday after the 11 p.m. explosion that sent residents walking through neighborhood streets and across nearby fields in slippers and pajamas, toting children in blankets, some with pets on leashes, some with their pets left behind.

The explosion obliterated two houses immediately, badly damaged two adjacent houses that were set afire from the blast and rocked neighbors out of their living room chairs, sent shelves and wall hangings flying and scattered debris across an area of several blocks.

Firefighters allowed people to return to homes with little or no structural damage that were farthest away from the epicenter of the explosion that rocked the Southside subdivision Saturday night. Marked with white tags, these owners could go back in but could not leave. Their homes remained without power.

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