Excerpts from cbsnews.com:

Eight people were injured in an apartment building explosion Tuesday around 9 a.m. in a four-story apartment building at 5601 W. West End Ave in the South Austin neighborhood.

Ten ambulances were sent to the scene, and at least eight people have been transported to hospitals. Two victims, a male and a female, were taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Three victims, two males and a female, were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. One female was taken to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park. Two males were taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County. One of the people who was injured was across the street at the time.

The fire department brought in crews to shore up the structure to enable a search of the building, and a final search of the building was completed indicating that everyone got out. 

A Peoples Gas spokesperson said the cause of the explosion remains unknown, and  that there was no reason at this point to believe the cause is related to gas or any of our equipment. 

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Chicago Police Department Bomb Unit were on the scene to assist with the response and investigation.  

The explosion happened on the top floor of the building on the eastern side of the structure, sending a large amount of bricks and other debris into the street, damaging at least three cars parked along the curb. The roof of at least one unit in the building collapsed as a result of the explosion, and several windows in the building also were blown out.

Building inspection records show the building has failed its last 12 inspections since 2010, including citations in January 2017 and February 2018 for “failing to repair or replace defective or out of service smoke detectors and operate continuously.” Most recently in 2020, one violation included a failure to connect a gas appliance to a flue or vent. After an administrative hearing on building code violations in February 2020, a follow-up inspection determined all of the violations had been corrected. 


thanks Martin