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Police believe natural gas caused blast

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(photo from Chris Schmitt, Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat)
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The explosion happened at 7:30 a.m.

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Although the state fire marshal's office is seeking a cause for a Carlinville explosion that killed two, police say they believe natural gas caused the blast.

A woman and her young grandson were killed and two of her sons were seriously burned today in the explosion that destroyed their home and damaged nearby buildings.

Police identified the dead as 55-year-old Margaret Hatlen, whose body was found in the basement of the destroyed home, and her 9-year-old grandson, Michael Albracht.

In addition to the family members in the destroyed home, an 88-year-old woman from a neighboring home was taken to a hospital with cuts.

Debris from the explosion was strewn in yards within a one-block radius.

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