Explosives, drug lab ruled out in deadly Texas explosion

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A drug lab and explosive devices have been ruled out as the possible causes of a deadly explosion that killed four people in San Antonio last week, authorities said Tuesday. They said they are still investigating other possible causes, including potential problems with a propane tank.

The explosion just before midnight Friday destroyed K-Bar Services, which San Antonio Fire Department officials described on Tuesday as an underground residence and construction business located on 75 acres (30 hectares) of property. About 100 vehicles, including construction machinery, cars and recreational vehicles, are also located on the property, the officials said at a news conference.

Wet weather, muddy conditions, structural issues and a large radius of evidence produced by the magnitude of the blast have slowed the investigation, they said.

“It was absolutely unsettling as far as the devastation that we witnessed,” said San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood. “As far as first responders, we don’t see things like this type of explosion inside of a building like this.”

Witnesses who said they had been on the property prior to the explosion told officials that they could smell gas, and a propane tank on the property had been worked on recently, the fire officials said. They added that foul play has not been ruled out and the investigation is ongoing.

Authorities found one body at the site immediately after the explosion and later discovered three more: two on Saturday and another on Monday. The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office identified two of the victims as Ashley Autobee, 28, and Roger Huron, 36. Officials said the other two victims were white men, ages 57 and 61, but did not identify them.

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