Updated: Monday, 08 Feb 2010, 6:26 AM EST
Published : Sunday, 07 Feb 2010, 6:14 PM EST
Portland, Conn. (WTNH) - Many towns were shaken by the explosion at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown, early Sunday afternoon. Portland residents, across the river, say the impact could be felt and seen in their own homes.
Five people have been confirmed dead and 12 injured in today's tragedy; for the latest information on this story, click here .
Residents described the visual aspect of the explosion as being intense.
"All of the sudden there was a big explosion," said Portland resident Elizabeth Werkhesier. "And the flames were higher than the stack itself. I never want to see anything like that in my life [again]."
Lynne Townsend, of Portland, said the impact felt like a natural disaster.
"It felt like an earthquake but it was more of an explosion because we were able to see it visually," said Lynne Townsend. "[We were able to] visually see the fire and the flames coming out between the two towers."
Bernadette Niland, of Portland, said the explosion rocked her entire home.
"Windows were blown out," she said.
And, she's not the only one to feel the impact inside her house.
"The explosion came and we had pictures on the wall that were knocked on the ground; I thought my house exploded," said Leo DeGraff.
The Red Cross has set up a victim and crisis toll free, 24-hour hotline for families and friends at 860-347-2577.