At least eight people were injured in an explosion at a large apartment building in Chicago on Tuesday. It is unclear what caused the blast, but several victims are reportedly in critical condition.
“There was an explosion at Central & West End. Adjacent building is being evacuated. There are a number of transports. Update to follow with transport info. No further info at this time,” the Chicago Fire Department tweeted just before 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday along with video of the scene.
According to Fox News, first responders called for a fleet of nearly a dozen ambulances to the scene. Multiple fire engines also responded to the explosion, however, photos of the area do not show an active fire.
“Our first concern is the health, well-being and safety of our residents,” said Roman Viere, owner of the building, according to WGN9. “We are doing everything we can to cooperate with emergency services, and we are ready to do whatever we can to support our residents.”
Multiple nearby residents said the blast rocked the entire building.
“I was asleep, and all of a sudden there was a loud booming,” said Lawrence Lewis, who was asleep at the time of the explosion. “I woke up to my windows gone, my front door blown open. I just saw smoke, and I ran out of the house. I was asleep. I’m shook up right now.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement that she is “closely monitoring the events and both the Chicago Fire Department and the Department of Buildings are onsite at the collapse.”
“We will provide updates as the situation develops. My thoughts are with those who were injured and displaced in the building collapse in the Austin neighborhood,” she added. “We must also thank the brave men and women of the Chicago Fire Department who are working to abate the dangerous conditions.”