Gas Leak Causes Major Explosion in Downtown Youngstown, Injuring Seven

A massive explosion, believed to be caused by a gas leak, devastated a 13-story building in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon. The blast, which occurred around 3 p.m., destroyed the first floor of the building housing a Chase Bank, injuring at least seven people, with one in critical condition. Two individuals, including a bank employee, remain unaccounted for, and rescue efforts are hindered by the collapsed floor.

Youngstown Fire Chief Barry Finley reported that a sheriff’s department drone was deployed to survey the basement, but visibility was extremely limited due to the collapse. The Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency confirmed the explosion was caused by a natural gas leak, with utility company Enbridge Gas Ohio responding to the incident. An investigation led by the State Fire Marshal’s office is underway to determine the exact cause.

Mercy Health Hospital is treating the injured and coordinating with local emergency officials. Hospital spokesperson Jennifer Robinson expressed the institution’s commitment to the community’s well-being, offering support to those affected by the explosion. The police have urged residents to avoid the downtown area as the situation remains fluid but under control.

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