Massive Explosion Rocks Chicago, At Least Eight People Injured

A massive explosion rocked Chicago today injuring at least 8 people three of them critically. The Chicago Fire Department said:

“There was an explosion at Central & West End. The adjacent building is being evacuated. There are a number of transports. Update to follow with transport info. No further info at this time.

“Unit 8812 mass casualty EMS bus now heading to Washington and Central.  This is a confirmed explosion but source of explosion not known.  ATF is on scene to assist. As is CPD bomb unit.  Six transports so far searches underway. Three victims serious to critical.”

“Background on explosion. This is a four story apartment building. With 35 units. Investigation underway into cause by CFD OFI.  Assisted by ATF and CPD.  Looking at 4th Floor as possible source.

Deputy Fire Commissioner Marc Ferman said they thought they got everyone out but the fourth floor of the building collapsed and was “compromised.”

“Right now we feel like we’re confident we got everybody out,” Ferman said.

A Peoples Gas spokesperson said:

“The cause of the incident is unknown, but there is no reason at this point to believe the cause is related to gas or any of our equipment.”

“This is a devastating event and we are heartbroken for all of our residents,” Roman Viere, the building’s owner, said.

“Our first concern is the health, well-being and safety of our residents. We are doing everything we can to cooperate with emergency services, and we are ready to do whatever we can to support our residents.”

“I was asleep, and all of a sudden there was a loud booming,” Lawrence Lewis who lived in the building said.

 “I woke up to my windows gone, my front door blown open. I just saw smoke, and I ran out of the house. I was asleep. I’m shook up right now.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said:

“I am closely monitoring the events and both the Chicago Fire Department and the Department of Buildings are onsite at the collapse.

“We will provide updates as the situation develops.

“My thoughts are with those who were injured and displaced in the building collapse in the Austin neighborhood.

“We must also thank the brave men and women of the Chicago Fire Department who are working to abate the dangerous conditions.”