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NTSB Investigates Deadly Explosion at Youngstown, Ohio Bank

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Ohio Explosion News: NTSB Focuses on Possible Third-Party Cut to Gas Line

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a deadly explosion that occurred at a Chase Bank in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon. The blast killed Akil Drake, a 27-year-old Penn Hills High School graduate, and injured seven other people.

5 Key Points

  • The explosion heavily damaged the facade of the Realty Building on East Federal Street.
  • NTSB investigators found a cut below-ground service line that was pressurized but not actively servicing the building.
  • Preliminary evidence suggests work crews were clearing out old utility infrastructure when the explosion occurred.
  • A possible third-party cut to the pressurized service line is the central focus of the NTSB investigation.
  • The NTSB expects to release a preliminary report in 30 days, and the final report will take 12-24 months to complete.

Investigators Gain Access to Basement, Find Cut Service Line

Following the explosion, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and Enbridge Gas gained access to the basement of the affected building. During their inspection, they discovered a pressurized below-ground service line but not actively servicing the building. The line was found to be cut, prompting Enbridge Gas to cut and plug the service where it connected to the basement. The NTSB ran tests to confirm that the steps taken to depressurize the service line were successful.

Preliminary Evidence Points to Third-Party Cut

Based on the initial findings, the NTSB’s preliminary investigation suggests that work crews were at the site to clear out old utility infrastructure. The central focus of the investigation is now on a possible third-party cut to the pressurized service line, which may have caused the deadly explosion. As the investigation continues, the NTSB will work to determine the exact cause of the incident and identify any potential safety recommendations to prevent similar occurrences.

Victim Identified as Penn Hills High School Graduate

The explosion claimed the life of Akil Drake, a 27-year-old graduate of Penn Hills High School who worked at the Chase Bank, where the incident occurred. The Penn Hills School District released a statement expressing their deepest sympathies to Drake’s family and those affected by the tragic event, noting that he was a student-athlete who excelled on the football field during his time at the school. The community mourns the loss of a young life cut short by this devastating incident.

Investigation Timeline and Next Steps

The NTSB expects to release a preliminary report on the Youngstown bank explosion within 30 days. However, the final report, which will provide a comprehensive analysis of the incident and any safety recommendations, is expected to take between 12 and 24 months to complete. As the investigation progresses, the NTSB will continue to work closely with local authorities, utility companies, and other stakeholders to gather evidence and determine the root cause of the explosion.

 

Ohio Explosion FAQ

Where did the deadly bank explosion occur?

The explosion occurred at a Chase Bank in downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

 

Who was killed in the Youngstown bank explosion?

Akil Drake, a 27-year-old graduate of Penn Hills High School who worked at the bank, was killed in the explosion.

 

What did investigators find when they accessed the basement of the affected building?

Investigators found a cut below-ground service line that was pressurized but not actively servicing the building.

 

What is the central focus of the NTSB investigation into the Youngstown bank explosion?

The central focus of the investigation is a possible third-party cut to the pressurized service line, which may have caused the explosion.

 

When does the NTSB expect to release its reports on the Youngstown bank explosion?

The NTSB expects to release a preliminary report within 30 days, while the final report is expected to take between 12 and 24 months to complete.

 

Citations:

WTAE. (2024, May 30). NTSB at site of Ohio bank explosion that killed Penn Hills graduate. https://www.wtae.com/article/ohio-bank-explosion-ntsb/60951728

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