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Monday, December 6, 2021

Female, 4, Female, 55, killed in house bombing in Michigan

FLINT, Michigan. A 55-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl were killed in an explosion and fire that destroyed three homes in Michigan, damaged several others and fell debris in the vicinity, authorities said Tuesday.

Three houses on the west side of Flint were completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene after 9:30 pm Monday. Officials said about 20 homes were damaged, including broken windows from debris thrown across a block in an explosion felt miles away.

Authorities said at a press conference on Tuesday that they had found the girl’s body in the ruins of her home. Flint’s fire chief, Raymond Barton, said her body was found by a cadaverous dog from Michigan State Police and firefighters with special equipment.

“This is a tragic time for our community,” Mayor Sheldon Neely said Tuesday morning.

Neely said the cause of the explosion, which caused the area to be littered with chopped wood and other debris, is being investigated. He also said that all 17 houses in the block where the explosion occurred were evacuated.

Authorities initially said the missing girl was 3 years old and that another person who died in a nearby house was a 70-year-old man, but they provided corrected information at a press conference, WJRT-TV reported. A 55-year-old woman who lived in a neighboring house died in hospital.

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According to Burton, the man, who is believed to be the father of the girl, is in critical condition. The woman, who was in the house and who, according to the authorities, is the mother of the child, suffered burns, but her injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Epoch Times Photos The shell of the house is visible on the morning of Tuesday, November 23, 2021, where an explosion and fire occurred on Monday, November 22, at Block 3900 on Hogarth Avenue, on the west side of Flint, Michigan. (Jake May | MLive.com via AP)

Neely said Tuesday afternoon that all residents are counted.

Aisha Lott, who lives nearby, said that she felt the explosion, and the blow caused an explosion in her house.

“It was like a really loud crash and my house shook,” she said.

Consumers Energy spokesman Brian Wheeler said that at about 9:40 pm Monday, the utility received a call about a house bombing and crew dispatches that cut off natural gas and electricity supplies to seven homes, including three that he said were destroyed by the explosion.

Wheeler said the utility found no evidence of gas leaks or other problems with the Consumers Energy gas system that runs to the exploded house. He said the utility is working with local authorities to investigate the explosion.

“This morning we are thinking about the residents of this area and their loved ones,” the utility said in a statement.

Associated Press

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