Investigation continues in Middletown apartment explosion, collapse

County working to help people displaced by apartment explosion

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - The cause of the Middletown apartment explosion that injured one remains under investigation.

The explosion that caused the building to collapse happened around 11:30 a.m. on Monday in the 400 block of Cribbs Avenue.

According to the Butler County Metropolitan House Authority (BMHA), the explosion severely damaged the building and made six apartments uninhabitable.

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.

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The BMHA said they are working with the Middletown fire and police departments on the cause of the explosion.

The building where the explosion happened was first opened in 1965.

Shelby Quinlivan, the spokesperson for the City of Middletown, said the last inspection at the apartment building was in 2000 and 2005 for plumbing and an entry way door repair.

Drone video of the Middletown explosion

The BMHA said they are working to relocate and assist the tenants displaced by the explosion.

“BMHA takes the safety and security of its tenants and their visitors seriously will continue to work with the appropriate entities to determine the cause of this incident and to take any necessary preventative measures going forward,” they said in a news release.

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.

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