Originally posted by ikonoklast
It does seem like the most likely scenario to me, though the intensity and effects of the explosion boggles the mind compared to other gas explosions in homes that have been referenced in this thread.
The intensity and effects of the explosion may differ simply because of the difference between explosions that are accidental, and explosions that are intentional.
In most accidental gas explosions (the majority), the explosion is a deflagration, which is a sub-sonic combustion wave. That is because the ignition of the explosion was a weak source like a hot surface or a spark. Deflagrations can cause blast waves of up to 8psi.
However, in intentional gas explosions, the explosion can be a detonation, which is a supersonic combustion wave. Detonation flame propagations are 30x more powerful, and can cause blast waves between 215 psi to 290 psi.
To put that into perspective, as I posted earlier in the topic, a 2 to 4 psi blast wave is enough to collapse most residential homes and structures. A 10 psi blast wave is enough to destroy concrete buildings. An blast wave of about 8 psi can travel about 60 feet before it reduces to a 2.5 psi blast wave, which is just far enough to destroy houses that are at least 60 feet apart.
edit on 21-11-2012 by illuminated0ne because: (no reason given)