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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Graig Graziosi

Explosion rocks Ohio bank sending debris flying as crews search for missing persons


A gas explosion rocked Youngstown, Ohio on Tuesday morning, causing multiple injuries, according to reports.

Emergency crews rushed to Federal Street, the central business corridor in the downtown area, after an explosion destroyed the first floor of the Realty Building, WFMJ reported.

At least seven people were injured and two people remain missing.

Security footage from a camera across the street captured the moment the 13-story building's storefront blew out, sending concrete, glass and other debris spilling onto the street.

Individuals in the downtown area said they heard a loud boom and saw a smoke cloud when the explosion occurred, WKBN reports.

The building has a Chase Bank on its first floor, and apartments on the upper floors. Those living in the apartments were evacuated after the explosion as were those in the International Towers apartment building across the street.

There were no reports of fatalities but multiple people were transported from the scene to hospitals.

The first floor of a building in downtown Youngstown, Ohio is destroyed by an explosion on 28 May, 2024. Seven people were injured in the blast (screengrab/WFMJ)

Mercy Health Hospital confirmed to Cleveland 19 that seven victims were taken to the hospital and that one person was in critical condition.

"Please AVOID downtown Youngstown. Major explosion from possible natural gas leak with injuries," the Youngstown Professional Fire Fighters labor union posted on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon.

Youngstown's Fire Chief, Barry Finley, told WFMJ that that an evacuation order was issued for every building adjacent to the Realty Building.

He told WYTV that one man believed to have been at the bank was unaccounted for and that crews were searching for him.

Youngstown State University, close to the Chase Bank Building, issued an alert to students and staff warning them to be aware of potential gas in the downtown area. After the explosion, gas was shut off to the area, WFMJ reports.

A JPMorgan Chase spokesperson told Cleveland19 that representatives were checking on employees at the bank and would later assess the damage.

“Right now, we are in close contact with local officials to check on the safety of everyone in the building and area. After that, we’ll work to determine what happened and to assess the damage,” the spokesperson said.

Youngstown is approximately an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh and Cleveland near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.

This is the second major incident to impact the region in just over a year. Last February, a Norfolk-Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, spilling toxic chemicals that were then burned, kicking of a massive clean up effort and causing ongoing health issues. East Palestine is approximately 20 miles south of Youngstown.

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