On Tuesday morning, a building explosion in the South Austin neighborhood injured at least eight people. Let’s look at the Chicago explosion today and what happened in detail.
What occurred today in Chicago?
According to a Chicago Fire Department official, an explosion occurred around 9 a.m. in a four-story apartment building at 5601 W. West End Ave.
In total, ten ambulances were dispatched to the area, and at least eight victims were transferred to hospitals. When two men were rushed to Loyola University Medical Center, one was in serious to critical condition and the other was in fair to serious condition.
A male patient was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious to critical condition, while a female patient was admitted in fair to serious condition.
West Suburban Medical Center received a female in fair to serious condition.
Two males were rushed to Stroger Hospital, one in critical to severe condition and the other in fair to serious condition.
According to Deputy Fire Commissioner Marc Ferman, one of the injured victims was in a building across the street at the time.
The Fire Department was compelled to send firefighters in to shore up the structure while it was being searched. At 11:15 a.m., the building search was still ongoing. According to Ferman, authorities believe that everyone has evacuated the building.
A video published on Twitter by the Chicago Fire Department shows that there is a lot of trash outside the building.
Chopper 2 also saw debris on the roof of a structure across the street.
What caused the explosion?
According to CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl, based on the way the debris fanned out around the building, the explosion was most likely caused by a natural gas leak.
Shannon Nelson, who lives across the street, said she heard the explosion while she was sleeping.
“My bed shook nearly like an earthquake,” Nelson reported. Nelson reported that when she went outdoors, she smelled natural gas.
The official cause of the explosion, according to Ferman, is still being investigated. Peoples Gas has turned off natural gas service to the structure.
According to the Fire Department, the Chicago Police Department’s Bomb Unit and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were also on the scene to assist with the response and investigation.
The explosion occurred on the eastern side of the building’s top storey. A large amount of bricks and other debris were hurled into the street, completely demolishing at least three parked cars along the curb.
The explosion caused at least one apartment in the building’s roof to collapse, and it also blew out numerous windows.
“We must also show our gratitude to the heroic members of the Chicago Fire Department who are working to reduce dangerous circumstances,” she stated. In total, 135 firefighters and paramedics were dispatched to the scene.
The Chicago Department of Buildings has also arrived on the site. The structure has failed its last 12 inspections since 2010, according to building inspection records, including two penalties for “failure to repair or replace malfunctioning or out-of-service smoke detectors and operate continuously.” These citations were issued in January and February of this year.
The building’s owner, Roman Viere, issued a statement saying, “We are heartbroken for all of our residents.” This is a heinous occurrence.” “Our residents’ health, happiness, and safety come first.”
We are doing everything possible to collaborate with emergency agencies and are prepared to take any required action to aid our neighbors.”
Viere was an afterthought. According to Ferman, it is uncertain how many people have been made homeless.
How Many People Were Killed in the Chicago Explosions?
Authorities reported at least eight people were hospitalized after an explosion inside a building on Chicago’s West Side on Tuesday.
First responders arrived at the scene of a four-story apartment building shortly before 9:30 a.m. and discovered the top level had collapsed, according to Marc Ferman, deputy fire commissioner for the Chicago Fire Department, at a news conference.
Eight individuals were sent to the hospital, including one from “the building across the street,” according to Ferman.
According to the Chicago Fire Department, three of those hospitalized were in serious to critical condition. According to Ferman, the victims’ injuries ranged from “burns to severe injuries.”
The explosion also displaced residents, according to Ferman, who added that police are unsure how many individuals were relocated.
According to Ferman, personnel are “certain we got everybody out” and have completed searching for additional victims.
According to the department, a mass casualty emergency medical services unit and ten ambulances were deployed to the area.
According to the fire department, the adjacent building was also evacuated following the explosion in Chicago’s South Austin area.
There was an explosion at Central & West End. Adjacent building is being evacuated. There are a number of transports. Update to follow with transport info. No further info at this time. 0 pic.twitter.com/Wmol70blSU
— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) September 20, 2022
The fire service shared images and a video on social media of firefighters and many fire vehicles gathered near a littered street. According to the department’s video, the top level of a structure seemed to be damaged.
The fire department provided no additional information on injuries or the cause of the explosion.
“We don’t know what triggered this catastrophe right now,” Ferman added. “It’s still being looked into.”
Crews from Peoples Gas, Chicago’s natural gas utility supplier, were dispatched to the area, which is “normal protocol,” according to Brendan Conway, a Peoples Gas spokeswoman, in a statement to USA TODAY.
“Our crews have been on the site assisting with the incident, but there’s no indication this is tied to our equipment or natural gas delivery,” Conway said.
Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, said she is “closely monitoring” the collapse.
“My sympathies are with those who were injured and displaced as a result of the building collapse in the Austin area,” she said in a statement released Tuesday.
Christine Fernando, News Now Reporter, can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @christinetfern.