Atlanta apartment complex is blown to pieces in a massive explosion, leaving four hours injured after residents reported smelling gas inside
- Police were evacuating the building in Dunwoody, Georgia before the explosion, after some residents called to complain about a strong gaseous odor
- Four people were injured; two others were briefly reported missing, but found safe
- Three apartments in the three-storey Atlanta area complex have completely collapsed
An explosion — preceded by a strong odor of gas — nearly razed an Atlanta apartment complex on Sunday, leaving four people with non-life-threatening injuries.
The blast happened around 1:30 p.m. as police were evacuating residents of the Arrive Perimeter apartments due to gaseous odors.
The front of the three-story structure was “essentially blown away” by the blast, Dekalb County Deputy Fire Chief Melvin Carter told reporters at the scene.
“We had reports of an explosion with multiple entrapments,” he said. “We had a lot of structural damage and structural instability of the building.”
Fire captain Jaeson Daniels had said two people were missing and there were concerns that they were in one of three apartments that completely collapsed.
Dozens of firefighters rushed to a Dunwoody, Georgia complex that partially exploded on Sunday
The couple was later found safe.
Dozens of firefighters reacted to the blast in Dunwoody, about 17 miles north of Atlanta, which happened hours after an apartment resident complained about a gaseous odor.
Officials said four people suffered minor injuries and one was taken to hospital for treatment.
No one was killed, but four residents were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries
Neighboring structures were also damaged and debris from the explosion was strewn in the area.
About 90 percent of the building had been ransacked, and officials were busy shoring up the rest of the complex so rescuers could continue to search for anyone who might be trapped, Carter said.
A helicopter and drones circled the building as the local Red Cross began investigating residents who might need help finding shelter. The partially collapsed building and some other nearby buildings were evacuated.
Police were evacuating residents of the Arrive Perimeter apartments due to gaseous odors when the blast occurred, causing part of the complex to collapse.
Residents were told Monday was the earliest they could return to their homes.
Brandon Winfield, 28, who lives in a building adjacent to the one that collapsed, said he was lucky to have avoided injury as he had passed the site minutes before the explosion.
The collapse reminded him of a terrible accident that happened when he was a teenager, in which his spinal cord was severed while competing in motocross.
‘I am alive. I’m alive,” he said. “I dodged two bullets.”
Arrival Perimeter Apartments, about 27 miles north of Atlanta, is shown before the explosion
Chantel Jefferson, a 21-year-old Amazon driver, had parked her van right outside the building and was collecting packages to take inside when she heard a massive explosion and trees and debris began to fall on her vehicle.
People ran out of the building, screaming and bleeding from their injuries.
“I was only inches away from it. I would be bloated,” she said. “I’m just glad I didn’t make it there.”
The cause of the blast has not yet been confirmed, and officials are continuing the investigation.