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Explosion in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, leaves one dead, one missing, and multiple injured


Explosion in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, leaves one dead, one missing, and multiple injured

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (KDKA) — One person is dead, another is unaccounted for, and multiple others were injured after an explosion caused extensive damage to a building in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon.

A man’s body was recovered from the scene early Wednesday morning, according to WKBN. The 27-year-old man was an employee at the bank. 

One woman is still missing, but Youngstown Fire Chief Barry Finley says the woman’s car isn’t at the scene and she hasn’t been identified at any hospitals in the area, so it’s unclear she was at the building when the explosion happened. 

The explosion happened at the Realty Building on East Federal Street around 3 p.m., the chief said.  

Seven people were taken to the hospital, and one of them is on a ventilator.

Photos show the front of the building is damaged and the facade was blown off. The building houses a Chase Bank at the bottom and apartments up top. The area was evacuated after the explosion.

An explosion rocked the Realty Building in Youngstown, Ohio, on May 28, 2024. 


People reported smelling gas and hearing a boom, but the fire chief said the cause is unknown. CBS affiliate WKBN reports construction workers were in the basement working when they heard a hissing sound, smelled gas and ran out of the building before it exploded.

Finley says they have to wait for the building to be deemed safe before firefighters can get inside. A man and a woman are missing, authorities said. 

“We have the sheriff’s department sending the mini drone down in the basement — he said there’s nothing to see,” Finley said. “The floor collapsed in on itself, there’s nothing to see, it’s full of water. So honestly, we don’t know if that person is down there or not. When we get clearance to go down in the building, we will.” 

An explosion heavily damaged the first floor of the Realty Building in downtown Youngstown, which houses a Chase Bank.


Emergency officials are asking people to avoid the area until further notice. Youngstown police said, “the situation is being actively managed.” Structural engineers and Enbridge Gas workers were called to the scene on Tuesday. 

The Ohio State Fire Marshal is leading the investigation. 

Witnesses describe downtown Youngstown, Ohio, explosion 

Damia Rizwan lives a block away from where the explosion happened on Tuesday. Rizwan said it “felt like a mini earthquake.”  

“It was a loud bang,” Rizwan said. “My building shook.”

“My stomach dropped,” Rizwan added. “I said this is different and this isn’t OK. When I heard the people screaming, I was like something serious happened.”  

Taylor Botsford, another witness of the explosion, also described the moment. 

“A lot of emotions right now because one of my friends was in the bank across the street and he went in to grab people and I don’t know — I haven’t seen him since,” Botsford said.

Youngstown is about an hour from Pittsburgh, near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. 

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