OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:42 AM – Friday, November 3, 2023
According to New York authorities, a gas line burst in the state on Thursday, resulting in a large fire at a multi-family structure that collapsed, injuring fifteen people, including five first responders.
Fire officials stated that the gas line explosion in Wappingers Falls, Dutchess County, was reported at around 12:15 p.m. ET. An excavator ruptured the gas line during routine maintenance, according to authorities.
“By arrival, we had a working fire with multiple people trapped,” said Wappingers Falls Fire Chief Jason Enson. “The fire department and multiple agencies did an excellent job on pulling those victims out.”
Authorities said that two children and eight adults were among the injuries, which did not include the first responders. Paul Italiano, the commissioner of Wappingers Falls Police, told reporters on Thursday night that the “majority” of them are unfortunately in severe condition.
Two adults and one child were immediately flown to Westchester Medical Center by helicopter.
Among those injured were a woman and her toddler, and the others who required additional aid were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, Italiano said.
He also informed reporters at the conference that five first responders—four police officers and one firefighter—were sent to nearby hospitals with minor injuries, including smoke inhalation.
According to officials, the two-story structure that was affected consisted of a series of four units connected by a basement.
“For safety purposes,” the structure will be demolished overnight, Italiano informed reporters.
Italiano maintained that there is no indication that the explosion is criminal in origin.
However, the investigation is still ongoing, and there is currently no gas or power on the street. The Red Cross is lending a hand in providing housing for the displaced residents.
Governor Kathy Hochul (D-Ny.) said that additional state emergency services personnel had been dispatched to aid with the response.
“As the situation develops, I urge all New Yorkers to follow the direction of law enforcement and other first responders working to keep the community safe,” she said. “I join all New Yorkers in praying for the Village of Wappingers Falls.”
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