15 injured in fire, building collapse following gas line rupture in New York state: Officials
Five of those injured were first responders, officials said.
Fifteen people were injured, including five first responders, after a gas line ruptured in New York state on Thursday, causing a massive fire at a multi-family building that collapsed, officials said.
The gas line explosion was reported around 12:15 p.m. ET in Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County, fire officials said. The gas line was ruptured by an excavator during routine maintenance, officials said.
"By arrival we had a working fire with multiple people trapped," Wappingers Falls Fire Chief Jason Enson told reporters during a briefing. "The fire department and multiple agencies did an excellent job on pulling those victims out."
Eight adults and two children were injured, officials said. A "majority" of them are in critical condition, Wappingers Falls Police Commissioner Paul Italiano told ABC News' Whit Johnson Thursday evening.
Among them, two adults and one child were transported via helicopter to Westchester Medical Center, according to Italiano. A mother and her child were among those medevaced, he told ABC News.
The others injured were transported to area hospitals via ambulance, Italiano said.
Additionally, five first responders -- four police officers and one firefighter -- were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries, including smoke inhalation, Italiano told reporters during the briefing.
The impacted two-story building was composed of four apartments in a row with a basement, officials said.
The building will be torn down overnight "for safety purposes," Italiano told ABC News.
A spokesperson for Central Hudson said the gas line was undergoing routine maintenance and was in the process of being replaced when it ruptured.
Italiano told ABC News the explosion is not believed to be criminal in nature.
Power and gas are still out on the street amid the investigation.
The Red Cross is assisting in sheltering those who have been displaced.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she has deployed state emergency services personnel to assist in the response.
"As the situation develops, I urge all New Yorkers to follow the direction of law enforcement and other first responders working to keep the community safe," she said in a statement. "I join all New Yorkers in praying for the Village of Wappingers Falls."
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