NewsFirefighter dies, 11 injured in massive gas leak explosion near Washington

Firefighter dies, 11 injured in massive gas leak explosion near Washington

A gigantic explosion caused by a gas leak killed an American firefighter (illustrative photo)
A gigantic explosion caused by a gas leak killed an American firefighter (illustrative photo)
Images source: © Unsplash | Matt C
2:44 PM EST, February 17, 2024

The incident transpired in Sterling, Virginia, a city situated near the United States' capital - Washington and Washington Dulles International Airport.

Firefighters from a local volunteer company were alerted to a reported gas leak in a house early Friday afternoon, around 2:40 PM Eastern Time. Shortly after their arrival, the leak ignited into a fire, culminating in a vast explosion.

Footage from the operational scene lays bare the magnitude of the explosion. An enormous cloud of smoke engulfed the levelled house, and fragments of the building were scattered more than 59 feet in all directions.

"It was absolute demolition," James Williams, the deputy chief of operations for the local fire department, summarized.

Regrettably, the local fire department reported a fireman lost his life in the incident. His identity has not been revealed at this time. Nine officers involved in the operation were also sent to hospital, as announced at a press conference.

Interestingly, the department's spokesperson mentioned in a statement to CNN that, at the point of catastrophe, there were civilians inside the house who suffered minor injuries and were immediately transported to the nearest medical facility.

Those who witnessed the explosion confessed that the force was so immense that it caused their homes to shake. The deafening noise could also be heard from miles away:

"It was horrifying. It looked like something out of a war zone," a witness told CNN.

An investigation into the cause of the disaster is currently active. Local authorities have stated this was an isolated incident.

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