Huge explosion rips through Houston, causing several injuries

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A massive explosion at a machine shop ripped through a Houston neighbourhood early Friday morning, and police said at least two people were killed and several injured while homes were damaged by the explosion that sent out blast waves detected for miles. "One person has been transported to the hospital from that area", the department said in its own Twitter update today.

Reports of the explosion came at about 4:20 a.m. local time, with police shutting down nearby streets, and hazmat teams soon arriving on the scene, though air quality was determined not to be unsafe.

A doorbell camera caught the dramatic moment a bright flash burst through the night sky, according to video posted to Twitter.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said a multi-agency arson investigation has been launched.

Acevedo said the debris field extends for half a mile.

Details about the cause of the blast were not immediately known, and there was confusion among residents.

One resident told the local news station that her roof of her home collapsed. "And then I realized there was no storm", the resident told KTRK.

Brady said the explosion was extremely loud.

Houston firefighters say that they have secured a leaking tank of propylene on the facilities.

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"It busted out every window in our house".

It is protocol to conduct an investigation and it will look into whether all regulations had been properly followed prior to the explosion, according to Acevedo.

Around 4:27amCT this morning, an explosion on Houston's northwest side, ~15 miles to my northwest, woke me up because it sounded like a person jumped on my roof & scurried away.

Hazmat teams are doing air quality assessments, though Peña stated: "We have no reports of accumulation or hazards to the air quality".

The Houston Fire Department reported that there is no evacuation order at this time, however.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the blast was felt as far away as 14 miles (22 km), based on social media reports.

A church in the area served as a temporary shelter "for anybody that we may have to evacuate out of their home due to damage", Pena said.

"Increases of flames and small explosions at plant continue per @houstonpolice airship".

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