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Deaths expected to rise in gas explosion

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By Associated Press

BRUNO, Calif. (AP) — Fire crews tried to douse the remnants of an enormous blaze and account for the residents of dozens of homes after a gas line ruptured and an explosion ripped through in a neighborhood near San Francisco, killing at least four people and likely more.
Emergency workers haven’t been able to get into all the homes and authorities said there could be more casualties. The number of deaths was rising: San Francisco state Sen. Leland Yee told The Associated Press he was briefed at the scene Friday morning by the California Emergency Management Agency and at least six people have died.
Fire officials and Yee later said the official count is still four killed and 52 injured, with three people suffering critical burns in the blaze that enveloped the middle-class neighborhood of 1960s-era homes in hills overlooking San Francisco, the bay and the airport. Four firefighters suffered minor smoke inhalation injuries and were treated and released within a couple hours, said Fire Chief Dennis Haag.
Haag said crews walked through the neighborhood Friday morning and revised the damage estimate to 38 structures destroyed and seven significantly damaged. Dozens of other homes suffered less severe damage in the fire, which burned 15 acres.
The blaze was 75 percent contained by midmorning, officials said.


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