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Two killed, homes destroyed in huge Indianapolis explosion

Matt Kryger / The Indianapolis Star via AP

Firefighters work the scene where an explosion has killed two people and damaged more than a dozen homes in the Richmond Hill subdivision, late Saturday, Nov. 10, in Indianapolis, Ind.

"Multiple houses engulfed in flames. Even the police officers that got to the scene before I did were not sure what happened. Kind of a surreal scene, even for police officers," Marion County Sheriff John Layton told the station.

The cause of the explosion and fires wasn't immediately clear, but Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard dismissed reports of a possible plane crash as he arrived at the scene. Fire officials said separately that investigators would be checking whether natural gas was possibly involved but they had no further details on what was behind the blast that sent tall flames skyward.

-- Reported by NBC News staff and wire reports

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Matt Kryger / The Indianapolis Star via AP

Matt Kryger / The Indianapolis Star via AP

An Indianapolis neighborhood is still off limits while police try to figure what caused a horrific explosion that killed two people and prompted nearly 200 residents to flee their homes. NBC's Ron Allen reports.