Officials: Wappingers Falls house explosion leaves 3 in critical condition and 5 in serious condition

The massive explosion and fire ignited at about 12:14 p.m. Thursday while routine gas line maintenance was being conducted along Mill Street and the surrounding side roads.

Ben Nandy

Nov 3, 2023, 9:59 AM

Updated 264 days ago

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Wappingers Falls police released an official accounting of people injured in Thursday's midday building explosion on Brick Row.
Officials said Friday the explosion -- and the fire that followed it -- led to 15 people being hospitalized.
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Chopper 12 video at the scene:
Upon initial investigation, police said the blast was likely caused by a contractor hitting an underground gas line near the small set of apartments in the village's downtown area.
Wappingers Falls Police Department Commissioner Paul Italiano confirmed Friday morning a woman, her two children and their neighbor who were inside the building at the time of the blast were severely burned.
Several people were also injured outside the building, including a construction worker who firefighters had to pull out of the rubble, police said.
Commissioner Italiano said five first responders were also injured – one firefighter had a hand injury; three officers were burned; and one officer was bitten in his hand while rescuing a dog.
Video taken minutes after the explosion shared with News 12 shows several plainclothes residents helping the first crew on scene until others arrived from around the county to help.
AUDIO: Emergency Dispatch Calls
"The fire department is a volunteer fire department, so although they responded with a group of people, for something of this magnitude, had limited resources," Italiano said of the civilian efforts during a live interview with News 12 Friday morning.
Harold Jackson, a neighbor who ran to the scene after the blast shook his house, said he feared the worst when he saw a man flee the building, bleeding and disoriented.
"You could hear the mother saying, 'We're still alive. We're still alive. We're still alive,' which was by the grace of God," Jackson said, "because an explosion like that -- I never heard anything like that."
The five first responders who were hospitalized have been released and are recovering, Italiano said.
He said eight other victims, who were inside and outside the home at the moment of the blast, are still being treated at Westchester Medical Center, officials said.


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