The investigation continues into Gate City's deadly explosion - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

The investigation continues into Gate City's deadly explosion

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Federal investigators are looking into a deadly apartment explosion in Birmingham. A 40 year old woman is dead and eight others injured, some of them children. The explosion happened early Tuesday morning in Gate City along Joppa Avenue.

"When we heard it everybody got up and my sister looked out the door, then the police came and told everybody to get out," 7 year old Jamicah Williams, who lives near the explosion said.

A horrifying and traumatic morning for people living in Gate City.

"I went and put on my shoes and helped as many of those folks as I could help out," Darrius Sigler, who lives nearby said. "I could see folks jumping from out of the second floor building and I could see folks coming around the side. Still flames going up and down."

"I was just praying that I hope everybody was alright," Marcus Diles, a child who lives nearby said.

40 year old Tyrennise Mabry, died. A  man was transported to UAB, and is now in critical condition. Three other adults were hospitalized. Four children under the age of eight were  taken to Children's of Alabama and were treated and released.  Four units total were destroyed - left in piles of metal and ash.

"I hear this boom, all our glasses went out," Robert Norton, who lives by the explosion said. "It hit me in the back and I just hit the floor."

Tuesday night, windows were replaced throughout the complex - windows that cracked and shattered in the explosion. 

 Right now, the biggest question from residents here is *why.*

"We've been complaining about a gas leak for four years and it ends up to be a gas explosion," Norton said.

"It just shook the house," Carl, who lives nearby said. "There have been people here complaining about this for a long time dealing with the smell of gas." 

Dozens of volunteers with local organizations - including the Red Cross served hot meals and offered supplies to families- even counseling.

"It's been great to have a mental health counselor on the scene talking with families whether they were impacted or not, making sure emotionally they're going to be ok," Chris Osborne, American Red Cross said.

A spokesperson for Alagasco  released a statement. In part, it says "we want to express that our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.   We want to reiterate that Alagasco's priority is the safety of our customers, the public, and our employees." Alagasco and the Environmental Protection Agency are conducting the investigation.  We'll keep you up to date on the developments both on air and online.


 

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