Fourth body found at site of Maryland apartment blast

August 13, 2016 5:47 PM EDT

Fire fighters look through the debris of a four-story building that was destroyed in an explosion that has left up to seven people missing in Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S., August 11, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts


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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Another body has been found after an explosion and fire ripped through at a Maryland apartment complex outside Washington, D.C. last week, bringing the total of known deaths to four with eight people still missing, authorities said on Sunday.

Montgomery County police are working alongside federal agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to sift through the site in Silver Spring for clues to the cause of the Aug. 10 blast, they said.

The explosion at the four-story apartment complex injured more than 30 people, the told a news briefing.

On Friday, local police said that three bodies had been found. Authorities previously said about five to seven people were likely killed in the blast, but offered no specific number or identifies at the time.

The identities of the bodies recovered at the site have yet to be determined. It's possible that the four bodies recovered are among those missing, local authorities said.

Among those believed to have been in the apartment buildings at the time of the fire were two boys, three and eight years old.

About 160 firefighters battled the blaze, which was brought under control after about two hours. Television footage showed flames and smoke pouring from the building as firefighters rescued a man from an upstairs apartment window.

Local officials said residents reported smelling gas just before the explosion, which was felt over a mile (1.6 km) away and tossed debris as far as 300 feet (90 meters).

Washington Gas, a unit of WGL Holdings Inc, which provided service to the complex, has said it was helping in the investigation.

(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Tom Heneghan)



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