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The Philadelphia Fire Department said it has recovered two bodies after a “violent” gas explosion and subsequent three-alarm fire Thursday that rocked a number of homes in the South Philadelphia neighborhood.

Emergency responders recovered one body on Friday, then said they would need to demolish a nearby home to reach the second victim, whose remains were found Saturday.

Although rescuers continued to comb through the rubble, no more victims were found, and officials said they were confident that would remain the case.

South Philly explosion:
Conditions thwarted recovery

Officials said an “undermined” street had prevented first-responders from digging out the bodies. Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said two attempts were made to rescue one of the trapped victims, but the fire was too intense and collapsing buildings prevented further rescue attempts, according to a report by Philadelphia’s FOX 29 news team.

The explosion leveled three houses and significantly damaged two others a little after 11:30 a.m. at South 8th and South Franklin streets. Nearly 120 firefighters battled the raging fires for hours, and 60 people on the block had to be evacuated.

“We believe now that we have pretty good confidence that there are two people who are missing and presumably deceased,” Thiel said.

South Philly explosion:
‘Pockets of fire’ hours later

Rescuers still were putting out “pockets of fire” in the burning homes, which were under control just before 3 p.m. Thursday, FOX 29 reported. Theil said the charred buildings were too structurally unstable “to put anyone else in there” as day turned to night.

The explosion, described as “a firestorm,” sent plumes of smoke that could be seen for miles, as wind gusts reached 20 miles an hour.

“It sounded like a bomb exploded,” one witness told WPVI-TV.

South Philly explosion:
Investigation has just begun

A reception center at South Philadelphia High School was available for anyone affected by the fire. The Red Cross was on the scene to provide any necessary aid.

The cause of the massive explosion is being investigated by local, state and federal authorities, but a source told a WPVI-TV reporter that officials are looking into an October water main break for any connection. Officials would neither confirm nor deny that work was being done along the street.

South Philly explosion:
Identities still not released

Although the identities of the two victims had not been released as of 5 p.m. Sunday local time, City Council member Mark Squilla said of the victim pulled from the debris Saturday, “From talking to one of the family members here, it was an older gentleman who was living in the building there. He was a handicapped individual who lived up on the third floor, so there was no way for him to exit the building or get out.”

Meanwhile, Academy at Palumbo High School principal Kiana Thompson told WPVI-TV that one of her students lived at the house that exploded. Thompson said that the student’s brother was killed and his body was pulled from the rubble Friday night.

South Philly explosion kills 2; second body recovered two days later

A massive South Philly explosion Thursday resulted in the death of two people. The body of the second victim was pulled from the rubble on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in Ohio:

Parma Heights explosion
results in death of man

Police in Parma Heights, Ohio, confirmed to Cleveland’s FOX 8 News that a body was found after a home explosion on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Parma Fire Department said rescuers were looking for an elderly man who might have been home alone when the house exploded at about 1 p.m.

Multiple fire departments responded to the 6300 block of Mallo Place just after reports of the explosion.

Gas was shut off in the neighborhood soon after the explosion, and some homes were evacuated.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

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