Gas Blast Lights Michigan Sky

An explosion caused by a ruptured natural-gas line ignited a fire that could be seen for 20 miles in a rural area of southwestern Michigan.

There were no reports of injuries, and the cause of the rupture was unknown, according to Consumers Energy, a utility company.

The glow from the fire lit up the sky north of Kalamazoo for two hours.

"It looked like a bomb went off," said Roy Livingston, who lives a mile from the site. "I saw it mushroom up and everything. I thought it was a nuclear bomb."

In a separate incident in Philadelphia Sunday, investigators said a gas leak probably led to an early-morning explosion that destroyed three homes and injured eight people. Hospital spokesmen said most of the injured were in stable condition.

Crews used heavy machinery to remove large rubble and then dug through smaller debris with their hands.

The blast woke neighbors with a noise like thunder, scattering blankets, sheets, and other debris into trees. Homes on the block were evacuated, and Red Cross officials set up a shelter nearby.