DOBBIN, Texas (AP) — An explosion demolished a house in a rural Southeast Texas neighborhood on Tuesday, critically injuring two women and an infant inside, officials said.
The 8:20 a.m. explosion Tuesday destroyed the house in the rural town of Dobbin. The Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office said in a statement that investigators suspect a propane leak may have caused the blast, which was felt up to 20 miles away.
"We have a debris field. It's about 300 feet wide. We have parts of the home scattered and in the trees. All of that is consistent with a gas explosion," said Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams.
Family members identified the injured as Lena Mock Knight, 65; her 58-year-old sister, Jennifer Mock; and Mock's 8-month-old grandson, Wyatt Smith.
The child was airlifted to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, while Knight and Mock were airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. All were in critical condition with burns and injuries, according to the fire marshal's statement.
The women were preparing breakfast when the explosion happened.
"The propane tank had a leak, and they had just filled it up and they think all the propane leaked out," said Phyllis Hamilton, a sister of the injured women. "They went to light the stove and it blew up."
The refrigerator shot like a rocket into the air and fell on a car outside. Windows were blown out of nearby houses and businesses.
"People were finding things from the house on top of the grocery store, in trees, and at least a half mile away," said Corbin Mock, a relative of those injured in the blast.
"It busted all my windows. I don't have a window left in my house," said neighbor Nikki Pollard.
Dobbin is about 50 miles northwest of Houston and has about 300 residents.