BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A predawn explosion shattered a two-story Birmingham apartment building Tuesday as residents slept, trapping an engaged couple in bed as bricks and concrete rained down on them.
After more than four hours of delicate work, firefighters freed the man, using large jacks to lift a concrete slab that had collapsed. But his fiancee was burned badly and died before rescuers could reach her, officials said.
The man was hospitalized in critical but stable condition with numerous injuries. Neither his name nor his fiancee’s were immediately released.
Five children and two adults also were hurt, officials said, but none of the injuries was life-threatening. Fire officials said they suspected natural gas was behind the blast, but the cause was still under investigation. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.