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Explosion levels house in Whitman, injures 8

[UPDATED 7/29/13 5:33pm] This morning a rowhouse at 428 Daly Street in South Philly’s Whitman section was blow apart shortly after 11am. Here’s what we know so far: 

The Inquirer reports that the rowhouse was leveled and two neighborhing houses were seriously damaged due to a suspected gas explosion. 

The explosion injured eight people, including a contractor working on the hot water heater in the basement of 428 Daly who was severly burned. [Action News] Among the other injured are two infants and a teenager. [NBC 10]

The cause of the explosion is under investigation but Earlier today a neighbor told reporters that the smell of gas was overwhelming. [NewsWorks] And this evening a statement issued by the city confirmed that natural gas caused the explosion.

The rowhouse was undergoing a substantial renovation, according to L&I records online.

Homes on the 400 blocks of Daly and Wolf remain evacuated, and the Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter at the Taggart School. The Fire Marshall is compiling a list of missing pets. [Inquirer]

Police Officer Mike Duffy shared these two Vine videos:

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