Officials: Eight injured in Chicago apartment explosion | Illinois News

Don Babwin – Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Eight people were taken to hospital after being injured when an explosion tore through the top floor of a Chicago apartment building on Tuesday, officials said.

Authorities said the explosion occurred around 9 a.m. at a 36-unit, four-story apartment building in the South Austin neighborhood. Chicago Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Fuhrman told reporters hours later that the fire department had concluded a search for possible victims and that no one was trapped inside the building where most of the top floor had collapsed. “I’m sure” he said he didn’t.

He said a technical crew had reinforced the upper floors so that firefighters could search “without leaving victims under the rubble.”

The cause of the explosion had not yet been determined.

Furman said seven of the injured were in a building on the west side of the city and one was apparently in a building across the street when the explosion occurred. The person had suffered from serious to severe injuries.

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Photos and videos posted on the Chicago Fire Department’s Twitter page showed much of the top floor destroyed. Two others were severely damaged.

Some residents said they were in their homes when the explosion shook the building.

Lawrence Lewis, who was asleep at the time, told WGN television: “I woke up and the windows were gone and the front door had been blown out. I could see the smoke so I ran out of the house. I was asleep. I’m upset now.”

Otis Manning, who lives across the street, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he was sitting on the couch watching TV when he “suddenly heard a ‘boom!'”.

“My heart almost jumped out of my body. … The window was forced open and I could see the debris,” he added.

Chicago Police Department Bomb Squad and agents from the Federal Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the blast.

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