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Updated January 19th, 2024 at 06:47 IST

Washington DC Gas Explosions: 2 Massive Blasts Erupt Near Day Care Center, One Injured

Two massive explosions caused by natural gas leaking at a convenience store damaged multiple buildings including a daycare centre.

Firefighters stand at the site of explosions that rocked Washington DC
Firefighters stand at the site of explosions that rocked Washington DC | Image:X - @dcfireems
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Washington DC - Two massive explosions caused by natural gas leaking at a convenience store damaged multiple buildings including a daycare centre. According to The Washington Post, the incident took place in the Anacostia neighbourhood of Southeast DC on Thursday. As per the reports, a major tragedy was averted after the firefighters managed to evacuate the nearby buildings in less than 30 minutes before the two blasts ripped through the store. However, the whole ordeal left one person injured. Shortly after the authorities managed to take control of the situation, Chief John A. Donnelly Sr of the DC Fire Department said that the explosion appeared to have happened after a vehicle struck a gas meter which was attached to one of the buildings that got damaged due to the explosion. 

“When I saw the building itself, my mouth fell open,” DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser told local reporters following the incident, The Washington Post reported. Donnelly mentioned that the person who was injured in the incident was struck by debris from one of the explosions and was transported to a hospital with “minor injuries”. One of the officials from the fire department told the American news outlet that a truck was delivering ice cream to the convenience store when it backed into the meter. After the incident, the DC Mayor took to X, formally known as Twitter, to express her gratitude towards the first responders. “We are incredibly grateful for the first responders and daycare employees who evacuated buildings and got people nearby, including children, to safety,” Mayor Muriel wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. “@dcfireems will continue to provide updates from the 1200 block of Marion Barry Ave as the response continues,” she furthered, sharing the visuals from her visit to the site. 

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The timeline of the events

Firefighters initially arrived on the scene at about 9:35 am (local time) and were responding to a report of an outside gas leak. While speaking to the press, Donelly mentioned that about 25 minutes after they reached the location, they mentioned that a blast knocked out windows on the second floor of one building, just above the daycare facility, and created a flash fire. Shortly after the first explosion, a second explosion ripped through the adjacent Danakil convenience store. The blast blew the door of the convenience store across Marion Barry Avenue. 

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Meanwhile, the authorities assured that a daycare full of children was safely evacuated shortly before the gas explosion. "They’re well trained. They know what to do. They can smell the gas, and they immediately evacuated." Donnelly said about the firefighters who first arrived on the scene. All 16 of the children who were present at the daycare where the explosion first occurred were safely reunited by their families, The Washington Post reported. "A really great job by first responders and the operators of the daycare. We’re really proud of them," Donelly furthered. 

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Published January 19th, 2024 at 06:47 IST

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