At least eight people were injured in an explosion at a residential building in Chicago on Tuesday, authorities said.
Of those injured, three are in serious to critical condition, the Chicago Fire Department said.
The “mass casualty” incident occurred on Central and West End Avenues in the city’s South Austin neighborhood around 9 a.m. local time.
“This is a confirmed explosion, but the source of the explosion is unknown,” the fire department said. Say.
Six men and two women were taken to the hospital, officials said. Their ages are not known.
One of the victims was in a building across the street from the blast, fire officials said.
A building near the blast site is being evacuated, fire officials Say.
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Furman told reporters at a midday briefing that first and second searches of the exploded building had been completed by first responders and a final search was now underway.
“Now we feel like we have the confidence to let everyone go,” Furman said.
He said the fourth floor of the building had collapsed and was “damaged”.
Video from the scene showed debris scattered on sidewalks, streets and several cars. Windows were blown out of the building and the top floor was badly damaged.
A company spokeswoman said staff from local gas company Peoples Gas did not smell any gas at the scene.
“The cause of the incident is unknown, but at this time there is no reason to believe that the cause is related to the gas or any of our equipment,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Chicago Police Bomb Squad are also responding to the investigation, the Chicago Fire Department said.
Furman said the building has about 35 units. It is unclear how many people have been displaced.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.