Gas leak causes massive explosion in Chase Bank branch on ground floor of building

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — A violent explosion ripped through a downtown Youngstown building on Tuesday, leaving the ground floor of a 13-story structure in ruins and sending at least seven individuals to the hospital. Authorities suspect a gas leak might have triggered the blast, which occurred on the same block as a busy Chase Bank branch.

The chaotic scene unfolded without warning, stunning the local community and prompting a swift response from first responders. NBC News affiliate WFMJ reported the devastating impact of the explosion, which seemed to obliterate the bank’s first floor.

Of the seven taken to Mercy Health Hospital, one of the injured people was in critical condition, according to Jennifer Robinson, a representative for the hospital. She assured that the hospital remained in close communication with emergency management officials, as they continue to handle the fallout from this unexpected disaster.

Robinson expressed deep sympathy for those affected and stressed the commitment to support the needs of the victims, “Our hearts go out to those impacted, and we stand ready to assist those in need as the health of our patients and the entire Youngstown community is and always has been our top priority.”

The explosion was captured by a nearby business’s surveillance system, indicating that the streets were sparsely populated at the time – save for some orange construction markers that hinted at earlier activity in the vicinity. The footage showed an abrupt blast that sent a surge of gray smoke billowing from the building’s windows.

Chase Bank’s official response involved immediate collaboration with law enforcement and emergency services, emphasizing the priority of ascertaining the well-being of occupants and those in the vicinity. As investigations continue, attention will likely shift to the condition of the gas lines and potential preventive measures that could avert future calamities of this nature.