1 injured in explosion, collapse at Middletown building, officials say

Investigation of explosion, building collapse in Middletown underway

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - Middletown City officials say a building collapsed after an explosion Monday afternoon.

The city official confirmed the report just before 12 p.m. Monday. The reported collapse and explosion happened in the 400 block of Cribbs Avenue in Middletown.

City officials say one person was taken to the hospital with a minor injury, but her father says the injuries are more severe.

Ronny Vanderpool says his daughter, 31-year-old Brittany Vanderpool, is suffering from a broken back and lacerations.

He says she was asleep in bed when the explosion happened.

Drone video of the Middletown explosion

The Journal-News says police on the scene reported a smell of natural gas in the area. They say this is according to emergency dispatch traffic.

Middletown’s Assistant Fire Chief said everyone is accounted for and gas has been turned off in the area. Currently, there is no one missing they are aware of.

On Monday evening, Duke Energy spokesperson Sally Thelen said an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident. Gas technicians tested and checked the natural gas lines in the area, Thelen explained, and no natural gas leaks on Duke Energy lines were detected.

Fire officials tell FOX19 NOW the air readings conducted came back normal.

1 hurt in Middletown building explosion

Middletown Asst. Chief Thomas Snivley said the people who live there are very lucky.

“Obviously, you see the apartment building behind you here. It does not look like a collapse, but some type of explosion. However, the incident is under investigation. We have several units throughout the country here... we’ve investigated and the structure and we’ve searched it," he said.

Snivley notes they are continuing to investigate the cause, which will take some time.

Crews are also working to interview people who were inside and outside the building.

Red Cross officials tell us they’re currently assisting 10 people who live in the apartment with “immediate assistance."

They tell us 6 of the apartments in the building were affected. Five were occupied during the blast. One was vacant.

Red Cross Mass Care Lead Rearden, who responded to the building collapse in Downtown Cincinnati last week, told FOX19 NOW it was amazing no one was seriously hurt in Monday’s collapse.

“Someone was definitely looking over them,” he said.

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