Several dogs survive southern Illinois house explosion

CASEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Several dogs thought to have died in a southern Illinois house explosion caused by a suspected natural gas leak have been rescued from the rubble. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that neighbors in the Caseyville subdivision where the two-story home exploded Saturday night heard the three poodles barking on Sunday evening. Firefighters used a backhoe to dig through the debris and rescue the pets. No one was injured in the blast. St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency Director Herb Simmons says that one of the kennels in which the dogs were found was partially crushed and had to be cut open to free the animal inside. A fourth dog in the home, an Australian Shepherd that wasn’t confined to a kennel, remains missing.