The Latest: Person unaccounted for after NJ blast is found

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Posted: Nov 11, 2015 3:42 PM
The Latest: Person unaccounted for after NJ blast is found

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — The latest on a house explosion in northern New Jersey (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

One person initially unaccounted for after a house explosion in northern New Jersey that killed one and injured 14 has been located.

A spokeswoman for Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says the person wasn't home when the blast occurred Wednesday morning.

Officials initially believed that 16 people were in the house a block from busy Routes 1 & 9 when the blast collapsed the third floor of a duplex onto the second floor.

One person was killed and 14 others were injured, including two critically. One of the critically injured is an 11-year-old boy.

Bollwage says the explosion is believed to have been caused by gas.

A preliminary investigation hasn't located a gas leak, but the probe is continuing.

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This story has been corrected to show the number of people taken to hospitals was 14, not 15.

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12:20 p.m.

One person is unaccounted for in a northern New Jersey house explosion that killed a man and left 15 others injured, including an 11-year-old.

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says two adults are in critical condition with burns.

The mayor says it's not known if the person who is unaccounted for left the scene or remains in the rubble. Firefighters are checking the scene.

No names have been released.

Bollwage says there was a possible gas explosion at about 8 a.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the two-family duplex on Magnolia Avenue. The blast damaged seven surrounding structures, and the mayor says three will have to be demolished.

Elizabethtown Gas spokesman Duane Bourne says a preliminary investigation hasn't linked the explosion to a natural gas leak, but the investigation is ongoing.

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11:10 a.m.

Firefighters are shoring up what remains of a house that exploded in northern New Jersey so they can conduct another search.

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says a caller reported that she believed another five people were in the structure. Officials have not confirmed that information.

The mayor says Wednesday morning's blast killed one person and left two others with severe burns.

Bollwage says eleven others were taken to area hospitals. The extent of their injuries is not immediately known.

The explosion occurred in a two-family duplex on Magnolia Avenue around 8 a.m.

The mayor says he's 90 percent sure it was a natural gas explosion, but it's not clear what set it off.

The mayor says the blast flattened the home "like a pancake."

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10:35 a.m.

Officials say one person is dead and two others have been severely burned in a house explosion in northern New Jersey.

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says eleven others have been taken to area hospitals. The extent of their injuries is not immediately known.

The mayor says he's 90 percent sure it was a natural gas explosion, but it's not clear what set it off.

The explosion occurred in a two-family duplex on Magnolia Avenue around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The house and a neighboring dwelling sustained substantial damage.

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10 a.m.

A spokeswoman for the city of Elizabeth says at least three people are injured and up to five may be trapped after a house exploded in northern New Jersey.

Spokeswoman Kelly Vence tells NJ.com (http://bit.ly/1PCjKUx ) firefighters are still searching the scene on Magnolia Avenue, and three people have been flown to hospitals for treatment.

Video from the scene shows heavy damage to the home, as well as a neighboring dwelling.

People on surrounding streets reported hearing the explosion on Wednesday morning.

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9:10 a.m.

Emergency crews are on the scene of a possible house explosion in Elizabeth.

Video from the scene on Magnolia Avenue Wednesday shows damage to the front of the home. But there is no sign of fire.

Emergency responders are treating people on stretchers.

There is no word on the cause and no details on the extent of the injuries.