A horrific explosion caused extensive damage to a Chase Bank in downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

Emergency crews responded to the scene after reports of a gas explosion in the 13-story building.

“Chase Bank occupies the first floor of the building, but the 13-story building also houses numerous apartments,” 21 News noted.


WKBN reports:

The explosion happened just before 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Realty building on E. Federal Street. Crews evacuated people from the top floors, where there are apartments.

Chase Bank is located at the bottom of the building. A representative of Chase Bank said they are in contact with local officials to check on the safety of everyone in the building, and after that, they will assess the damage.

Those in the area reported hearing a loud boom followed by smoke and the smell of gas.

“I heard the boom, and I looked up and I could see dark smoke coming out of the side of the Chase Bank building… but it was such a really strong, strong boom, you know, I blurted out, “Oh my God,’” said Debora Flora, executive director of Mahoning County Land Bank who works downtown.

Seven people are receiving treatment related to the explosion at Mercy Health, with one patient in critical condition, a Mercy Health spokesperson confirmed.

“Youngstown fire crews are responding to a possible explosion at Chase bank in the Realty building downtown. First responders are ordering people to get back and move away from the building,” 21 WFMJ anchor Lindsay McCoy said.

Per 21 News:

First responders have the area blocked off and the bomb squad, as well as a structural engineer were called to the scene. The Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has taken over the scene.

Gas was reported to still be coming from the area, but we’re told gas has been shut off in the building.

Youngstown State University has issued a Penguin Alert revealing that University Police are monitoring the situation. However, the University itself is not impacted by the explosion at this time.

All county buildings have closed as a result of the explosion and the Board of Elections has stopped early voting. The Youngstown City School Board has also canceled its Tuesday night meeting.

Downtown businesses like The Federal restaurant are closing for the day for safety

Drivers are asked to avoid the area.

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