The Chicago Fire Department confirmed the explosion at 9:45 a.m. (local time) and posted photos on Twitter that showed the top floor of a four-story apartment building on the west side of the city almost completely destroyed by the blast.
There was an explosion in the Central and West End. The adjacent building is being vacated. There are a number of means of transportation. Update to follow up with transportation information. No more information at this time. 0 pic.twitter.com/Wmol70blSU
– Chicago Fire Media (CFDMedia) September 20 2022
Searching for potential sources.
The department said the explosion occurred near Washington Boulevard and Central Avenue.
“Blowout background. This is a four-storey apartment building. With 35 units. The cause is being investigated by CFD OFI. With the help of ATF and CPD. The Chicago Fire Department said in a tweet: Considering the fourth floor as a potential source. ABC News reported that three of the injured are in critical condition.
The building next to the site has been evacuated
Fire officials said a building adjacent to the blast site had been evacuated.
Deputy Fire Commissioner Mark Firman told reporters during a midday briefing that first responders had completed primary and secondary searches of the building after the explosion.
“At the moment we feel confident that we’ve managed to get everyone out,” Ferman said. He said the fourth floor of the building had collapsed and was “endangered,” according to reports.
The fire department said two of the victims were women and the other six were male. Ferman said one of the victims was in a building across the street from the explosion when it occurred. Fermann said that ten ambulances and 135 paramedics were called to the scene.
Videos appear on social media
Meanwhile, videos have surfaced on social media, showing debris strewn across the sidewalk, streets and many cars and windows blown out of the building.
According to CBS News, the apartment building has failed annual inspections frequently over the past 12 years, receiving citations in 2017 and 2018 for “failure to repair or replace faulty or out of service smoke detectors and to operate continuously.”