One person was killed when an abandoned house exploded in Irvington, N.J., this morning, injuring numerous construction workers and sparking a frantic search for people possibly trapped in the rubble.
The three-story house fully collapsed in the explosion, near the intersection of 22nd Street and 20th Avenue, just before 7:30 a.m. Flaming debris was thrown through the area, setting nearby homes on fire and landing on neighborhood streets.
Construction workers were arriving at the site for work, possibly demolition, when they smelled gas. Then the house exploded.
One person was killed and five construction workers were injured, including at least one seriously burned. Other people possibly in the house at the time of the explosion may be trapped.
"We've got a report of people trapped in the debris pile," Irvington Deputy Fire Chief Charles Weiss said.
The explosion collapsed the three-story house onto a neighboring home that was recently constructed, but not occupied. Other homes sustained broken windows and other damage from the blast.
One neighbor said the house that exploded was slated for demolition. Residents were complaining to city officials about people illegally living there, she said.
Following the blast, a strong odor of gas reportedly wafted though the neighborhood. Authorities suspect natural gas was the cause of the explosion.
Republished with permission from WABC-TV