Explosion in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, leaves one dead, one missing and several injured

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (KDKA) — One person died, another was unaccounted for and several others were injured Tuesday afternoon when an explosion caused extensive damage to a building in downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

A body of a man was recovered from the spot early Wednesday morning, according to WKBN. The 27-year-old man was a bank employee.

One woman is still missing, but Youngstown Fire Chief Barry Finley says the woman’s car was not at the scene and she has not been identified at any hospital in the area, so it’s unclear if she was in the building when the explosion occurred.

The chief said the blast occurred around 3pm at the Realty Building on East Federal Street.

Seven people were taken to hospital, one of whom is on a ventilator.

Photos show damage to the front of the building And the facade is cut off. Under the building is a Chase bank and upper apartments. Residents were evacuated after the explosion.

On May 28, 2024, an explosion occurred at a realty building in Youngstown, Ohio.

WKBN


People reported smelling gas and booming, but the fire chief said the cause was unknown. CBS affiliate WKBN Construction workers were working in the basement when they heard hissing and smelled gas and ran outside the building before it exploded.

Finley says firefighters must wait until the building is deemed safe before entering. Authorities said a man and a woman were missing.

“We had the sheriff’s department send a mini drone down — and he said there was nothing to see,” Finley said. “The floor collapsed on itself, there’s nothing to see, it’s full of water. So honestly, we don’t know if the person is down there or not. Once we get clearance to get into the building, we will.”

An explosion heavily damaged the first floor of a realty building in downtown Youngstown that houses a Chase bank.

KTKA


Emergency officials have asked people to avoid the area until further notice. Ilanjezhiyan police said, “The situation is being managed seriously. 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 downtown Youngstown, Ohio

Damia Rizwan lives a block away from the site of Tuesday’s blast. Rizwan said it felt like a small earthquake.

“It was a big bang,” Rizwan said. “My building shook.”

“My stomach dropped,” Rizwan added. “I said it’s weird, it’s not right. When I heard people screaming, it was like something serious had happened.”

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

“A lot of emotion right now because a friend of mine was at the bank down the street and he went to grab people and I don’t know — I didn’t see him,” Botsford said.

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

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