Explosion Rocks Nebraska, Multiple Casualties. Hazmat On Scene

The town of Laurel, Nebraska has been violently shaken up after two houses exploded in the middle of the night. Authorities are searching for a potential suspect and schools and nearby businesses have been locked down or closed up until there are more answers about the explosions.

Four people are dead in what may have been an instance of arson with the use of accelerants. Police noted that they received multiple calls of a “black male” witnessed leaving the area in a silver sedan, going west on Highway 20, around the time of the explosions. Witnesses also heard gunshots prior to the explosions.

Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Colonel John Baldock said that foul play is expected.

Motives For The Explosions Are Unknown

Additionally, he said that “’Fire investigators believe that accelerants may have been used in both of these fires.”

Col. Baldock added that fire investigators “ believe anyone who was inside the homes at this time may have been burned. Therefore, it is possible that our suspect, or suspects received burn injuries during these incidents.”

A call was made to fire fighters at about 3 AM about an explosion on Elm Street, where one deceased person was found. Soon after, the second house exploded a mere two blocks away, where three more were found dead.

“We have two fires with deceased people three blocks apart it would be a stretch to say there is no connection, but it is still very early in the investigation,” said Col. Baldock.

He added, “We are not categorizing it as anything at this point, we have multiple crimes scenes with four dead.”

The victims’ names have not been released at this time. Anyone with information about the explosions, especially surveillance video, is encouraged to contact the Nebraska State Patrol at 402-479-4921.

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