A very similar-seeming explosion to the one in San Bruno has occurred in Allentown, Pennsylvania, quickly leveling two homes and destroying six more in the resulting inferno. The explosion occurred just after 11 p.m. Wednesday night. An additional 16 homes were damaged by the blast.

No definitive details about casualties are available, though one victim has been confirmed dead and five remain unaccounted for. Firefighters can't yet say what the cause of the blast was, though it appears to have been a natural gas leak. Frozen ground could have been a culprit as well, causing a natural gas main to shift and crack. Rescue workers are continuing to search for victims.

As many analysts have said, September's natural gas disaster in San Bruno was indicative of a far larger problem facing the country's utilities than just PG&E's general incompetence. Let's hope these do not become regular occurrences. [CNN, NYT, Reuters]