At least 15 people were injured after a gas explosion and fire on Thursday afternoon in the Village of Wappingers Falls, New York.
Five of the individuals are first responders – one firefighter and four police officers – and of the other 10, eight are adults and two are children, Wappingers Falls Police Commissioner Paul Italiano said at a news conference on Thursday evening.
The injured were stuck underneath the rubble of the collapsed building after the explosion and crews worked to remove them and transported them to hospitals.
All of the victims remain in the hospital as of Thursday evening, Italiano said. Some of the individuals have critical injuries and police say they appear to be mostly burn injuries.
The explosion happened after a gas line ruptured during what was part of “routine maintenance,” Eric Kiszkiel with Central Hudson Gas & Electric said.
The gas structure has been in the area for what is believed to be 80 to 90 years, Kiszkiel said.
The building that collapsed was a multifamily building with four apartments in a row, according to Wappingers Falls Fire Chief Jason Enson.
Central Hudson Gas & Electric is working with the Red Cross to assist those who are misplaced due to the explosion.
“I have been briefed on the building collapse in Dutchess County and have deployed State emergency services personnel to assist in response efforts,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “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. I join all New Yorkers in praying for the Village of Wappingers Falls.”
Wappingers Falls is about 60 miles north of Yonkers.
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