Explosion Rocks Ohio City: 1 Dead, 7 Injured

An explosion struck a building housing a Chase Bank and apartments in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon, leaving one person dead and seven others injured, including one in critical condition. The Youngstown Fire Department initially characterized the incident as a possible natural gas explosion but later stated that crews were working to determine if there was a gas leak.

Fire Chief Barry Finley confirmed that an explosion had occurred but said the cause was still under investigation. The blast impacted the building, causing the floor to collapse into the flooded basement. Search crews were working to send a mini-drone into the basement to aid in the search effort.

The deceased victim, an employee of the bank, was pulled from the site early Wednesday morning. Police were searching for his vehicle in the wake of the explosion. The building has been evacuated, and streets in the surrounding area have been closed to traffic indefinitely due to the potential for a structural collapse.

US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued a statement, saying, “My team and I are monitoring the ongoing situation following the explosion in downtown Youngstown. While we wait to find out more, we thank the firefighters, police, and medical personnel who arrived on the scene quickly & are actively working to keep everyone in the area safe.”

Authorities said there is no evidence of any suspicious activity at this time.