Bailey Aldridge and Don Sweeney
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
Part of an apartment building collapsed and multiple people were injured in an explosion at a complex in an Atlanta suburb on Sunday.
The Dunwoody Police Department said it got multiple calls at 1:24 p.m. about an explosion at the Arrive Perimeter apartment complex.
“We are on scene with the DeKalb County and Sandy Springs Fire Dept,” police said. “This is a very active scene and the cause of the explosion is under investigation.”
The Sandy Springs Fire Department says the explosion left “multiple patients.”
Firefighters are shoring up the building so it can be searched, Deputy Chief Melvin Carter of the Dunwoody Fire Department told reporters in a briefing streamed by WGCL.
Carter said a leasing manager called in a report of a gas smell before the explosion, but firefighters have not yet determined the cause of the blast. He did not know if residents had been evacuated or warned.
Atlanta Gas Light, a natural gas distributor, tweeted that its crews were on the scene helping emergency responders. It said it would provide more information when available.
About 75 Dunwoody Fire Department firefighters are on the scene, aided by the Sandy Springs Fire Department.
An officer with the Dunwoody Police Department told WSBTV that the explosion “fairly well blew the building to pieces.” The blast also damaged surrounding buildings, the outlet reports.
Officials told the outlet that multiple people are on the way to a hospital with burns and that it’s unclear if anyone remains trapped in the rubble.
Eboni Thornton told WSBTV that she got out of a moving truck outside the building after it shook and something fell on it.
“The leasing office was collapsed on the left side, the double doors were blown out and I could hear a lady screaming her head off,” Thornton told the station. She said she saw bleeding people limping and being carried from the rubble.
Another witness, Richmond Punch, told 11Alive the explosion rocked “the whole block.”
“It was felt (by) like four complexes at least, the whole block felt it,” Punch said, according to the outlet. “Explosion — bam! Like a bomb, like a helicopter, or like as if somebody crashed a car into the apartments. It was crazy.”
Police have asked residents at the apartment complex who were not affected by the explosion to remain in their homes and said that entrances and exits are “closed off as the fire department works.”
“Please be patient and understand there is a huge incident scene ongoing right now,” police wrote.
Police said the Red Cross has been notified about the explosion.
The apartment complex is located in the 2000 block of Asbury Square, less than a mile from Perimeter Mall.
In December, a gas line explosion and fire at the nearby Dunwoody Village Apartments injured four people, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
A construction crew hit a gas line before the blast, which occurred while Atlanta Gas Light workers were trying to repair it, according to the publication.
Videos of damage from the Sunday explosion were circulating social media.
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