Austin Building Explodes and Injures Several

Austin
Courtesy of Baltimore Heritage (CC0)

Earlier this week a Chicago building exploded and collapsed in the neighborhood of Austin. The cause still being investigated by officials.

Property owner Roman Viere talked to reporters saying that he could not imagine what could have done this much damage. The aftermath left eight people injured. He went on to say how surreal this situation was and nothing could prepare anyone for what happened last Tuesday.

When he arrived he described what looked like a warzone at first glance. There was rubble all over the street and on top of cars which destroyed them. He claimed it was all breathtaking.

Residents of the building were allowed to grab any remaining items that may have still been intact. David Howard, a resident in the building said a lot of irreplaceable personal items were got destroyed in the blast. He mentioned that he was thankful that he was not inside when the explosion happened. Other people were not so lucky and only came out with the clothes on their backs.

Fire officials stated that the explosion happened at around 9 a.m. on the highest floor. The location of the building is the intersection of West End and Central Avenue.

The blast from the explosion pierced through neighboring streets and pieces of the building hit homes across the street.

James Fenton, a neighbor of the building claimed he has never experienced anything like this. When the building shook Fenton said he was confused about how his home was shaking the way it did.

Austin
Courtesy of Paul Sullivan (CC0)

He went on to say that the ABC-7-1 -Team discovered files of failed inspections and numerous code violations. However, Viere exclaims that none of the code violations or inspections could have prevented this because they were on unrelated topics.

Although the explosion might have scared away many residents Viere says that his main priority is to make sure his residents feel comfortable and safe. He sends his best prayers for his residents and any family, all he wants to do is find out what he can do to help.

The landlord is also said to be working with his office to secure affected residents in housing. Viere is aware of whether or not the building will be demolished but is not able to make a statement at this time.

According to residents they are not being offered enough.

A resident that chose to be unidentified made it clear that living in a new apartment would not be easy. The resident claimed that they are being put in an apartment that is $150 more. Because of the uncomfortable situation they are in they won’t be able to afford it.

An official for Urban Alternatives said that 31 families have chosen new medium-term housing while the remaining 23 families have been offered a new apartment to reside in.

Victims of the explosion spoke to ABC7 about the horror that they endured during the event.

Eric Hune claimed that the explosion knocked him down to the ground. he said once he realized that something was wrong he ran straight out the door and away from the apartment.

He said that the third floor of the building was full of panic and distress. The halls were filled with people running. A church near the building helped residents by offering food and a place to sleep.

Almost all residents left the area without any form of identification. Many neighbors claimed that their homes shook as if an earthquake struck.

This was definitely a stressful event that we can only hope does not happen at any time in the future.

Written by Esteban Ruiz

Sources:

ABC7: Video shows explosion before Austin building collapse, injuring 8; cause still under investigation

Chicago Sun-Times: 8 hurt in Austin apartment building explosion: ‘It sounded like a bomb’

Chicago Tribune: At least eight injured in explosion at West Side apartment building, officials say

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Baltimore Heritage’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Paul Sullivan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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