Explosion in Youngstown city of Ohio, one person dead, one missing and several injured


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (KDKA) — One person is dead, another is missing, and several others are injured after an explosion caused extensive damage to a building in Youngstown, Ohio on Tuesday afternoon.

According to WKBN, a man's body was recovered from the scene Wednesday morning. The 27-year-old man was an employee at the bank.

One woman is still missing, but Youngstown Fire Chief Barry Finley says the woman's car was not at the scene and she had not been identified at any area hospitals, so it's unclear if she was in the building at the time of the explosion.

The chief said the explosion happened at the realty building on East Federal Street about 3 p.m.

Seven people were taken to hospital and one of them was put on a ventilator.

Pictures show that the front of the building has been damaged And the building's facade was blown off. The building houses Chase Bank in the lower part and apartments in the upper part. The area was evacuated after the explosion.

On May 28, 2024, the Realty Building in Youngstown, Ohio explodes.

WKBN


People reported smelling gas and hearing a bang, but the fire chief said the cause was unknown. Construction workers were working in the basement when they heard a hissing noise, smelled gas and ran out of the building before the explosion occurred, CBS affiliate WKBN reported.

Finley says they have to wait until the building is secure before firefighters can go in. Officials say a man and a woman are missing.

“The sheriff's department sent a mini drone down into the basement — they said there's nothing to see down there,” Finley said. “The floor collapsed in on itself, there's nothing to see down there, it's full of water. So honestly, we don't know if the person is down there or not. When we get permission to go down in the building, we'll go down there.”

The explosion caused heavy damage to the first floor of the Realty Building in downtown Youngstown, which also houses a Chase Bank.

KDKA


Emergency officials are asking people to avoid the area until further notice. Youngstown police said the situation is “being actively managed.” Structural engineers and Enbridge Gas workers were called to the scene Tuesday.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal is leading the investigation.

Witnesses describe the explosion in Youngstown, Ohio

Damia Rizwan lives a block from where Tuesday's explosion occurred. “It felt like a small earthquake,” Rizwan said.

“It was a very loud explosion. My building shook,” Rizwan said.

“My stomach sank. I said this is different and this is not right. When I heard people shouting, I realised something serious had happened,” Rizwan said.

Taylor Botsford, another witness to the explosion, also described the moment.

“There's a lot of emotions right now because a friend of mine was at the bank across the street and he went in to rob people and I don't know — I haven't seen him since,” Botsford said.

Youngstown is near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, about an hour from Pittsburgh.


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