Gas explosions in Washington on Thursday morning resulted in the destruction of a convenience store and the injury of one person.
- D.C. Fire and EMS responded to an outside gas leak in Anacostia around 9:30 a.m., evacuating adults and 16 children as they discovered the leak from a damaged meter.
- Fire Chief John Donnelly reported that the leak was beyond first responders' control, requiring assistance from Washington Gas. The fire was contained later in the morning, with ongoing monitoring and readiness for potential flare-ups.
Source: Youtube/Fox 5 Washington DC
When and How Did The Gas Explosion Occur?
Donnelly mentioned that they think the gas explosion happened when a vehicle hit the gas meter during "routine operations," but they are still investigating the gas explosion incident.
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) January 18, 2024
Source: Twitter/DC Fire and EMS
The initial blast happened around 25 minutes after the first 911 call, shattering the windows of a two-story building and causing a sudden fire, according to Chief Donnelly. Additional firefighting teams were summoned for assistance.
Shortly after, a second gas explosion occurred at a nearby convenience store, resulting in its complete collapse.
The 16 children, who were present at a daycare in one of the affected buildings, "are safe and have been reunited with their families," Donnelly commended the swift response of the first responders and daycare operators, expressing pride in their efforts.
Although reports stated that everyone in the vicinity had been located, D.C. Fire and EMS personnel conducted an additional check of the buildings to confirm.
Maya, a mother whose child was at the daycare during the explosion, told WUSA9 reporter Rafael Sánchez-Cruz that she was "just thankful" they managed to evacuate all the children safely.
Is Anybody Injured?
A person sustained minor injuries from flying debris and was transported to a nearby hospital, according to Donnelly. The current condition of the individual is unclear, but there have been no reports of any other injuries. Three buildings, including the daycare and convenience store, incurred damage.
Mothers with children at the Baby Einstein Child Development Center which is right next to the explosion are calling the daycare workers heroes as they are reunited with their toddlers. Here is 2-year-old Jersey and her mom. @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/PdbjVnzLpQ
— Rafael Sánchez-Cruz (@rafasanchezcruz) January 18, 2024
Source; Twitter/Rafael Sanchez-Cruz
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, after being briefed and inspecting the damage caused by the gas leak firsthand, expressed gratitude, stating, "I think we're very lucky today."
Detailing the extent of the damage, Bowser explained, "The building where the primary gas explosion was, was leveled. The adjacent building, which housed the daycare on the bottom floor, suffered significant damage on the top floor. When I saw the building itself, my mouth fell open. If the children had been in the building, they would have definitely been impacted by that explosion."
Bowser conveyed appreciation for the firefighters, acknowledging their "necessary and quick decision to remove everyone." During a press conference, she thanked the fire department for their swift response, urgency, and successful evacuation, expressing gratitude that they believe everyone was safe.
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