DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Fire officials say an explosion and collapse at a DeKalb County apartment building has left at least four people hospitalized with their injuries.
Police said they were called to the Arrive Perimeter apartments in DeKalb County around 1:24 p.m., where they encountered heavy gas fumes. Police were able to start evacuating residents.
DeKalb Fire Department said two people who were unaccounted for are now safe.
Several Channel 2 Action News crews are at the complex working to learn more information as the situation develops. LIVE updates on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m.
At some point, there was an explosion, which initially trapped multiple people inside. In chilling 911 calls, dispatchers say “half of the building is gone.”
“It fairly well blew the building to pieces,” an officer with Dunwoody Police told Channel 2 Action News.
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It’s unclear if anyone is still trapped in the rubble. Heavy rescue team crews are working to shore up the building so that they can get into areas that are still unstable.
Of the people rescued, at least four had injuries severe enough to be taken to the hospital. There are reports that one person suffered a burn and another broke their leg.
Multiple law enforcement and fire agencies are assisting in the rescue effort. Officials said there are at least 75 firefighters at the location as well as technical rescue crews.
Atlanta Gas Light says natural gas services have been cut off to the affected buildings, but there are no additional outages. Crews are remaining on the scene to assist first responders.
All the roads surrounding the building are closed. Police are asking for anyone who lives at the complex but wasn’t impacted by the blast stay in their homes.
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The blast was so powerful that it damaged surrounding buildings. NewsChopper 2 was over the scene, where there was a large crack in the roof and one side of the building with heavy damage.
“The entire building received some sort of damage,” firefighters said.
Eboni Thornton said she was in a moving truck outside the building when it felt like something fell on top of the vehicle. She said the whole vehicle shook. She was shocked at what she saw when she got out of the truck.
“The leasing office was collapsed on the left side, the double doors were blown out and I could hear a lady screaming her head off,” Thornton said.
Thornton said she saw a couple people limping and bleeding and being carried out of the rubble.
The American Red Cross is on the scene working with those who were displaced from their homes. They have set up a receiving area to provide snacks, water and emotional support to residents while the utilities to the building are cut off.
This is the second explosion at a Dunwoody apartment building in less than a year. Two people were injured in a fire and explosion at the Dunwoody Village apartments last December just before Christmas.
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