Explosion and fire at apartment complex in Payson, Arizona
PUBLISHED Sun, November 06, 2016 - 12:12am EDT
Credit: Curtis Cantonwine
A gas explosion has ripped through an apartment complex in the town of Payson in Arizona, causing a large fire, officials in Gila County say. As many as 9 people have been injured but there are no fatalities. (more)
The incident happened at around 8:30 p.m. MT on Saturday when a large explosion occurred near the 500 block of Beeline Highway, which is in the vicinity of Ace Hardware on Zurich Drive and the Payson United Methodist Church.
A large fire broke out at the scene and multiple buildings appeared to have been damaged. A large number of emergency services, including several helicopters and firefighters from multiple cities, responded to the scene.
Fire officials initially confirmed that multiple people were killed, but they later retracted the statement, saying no one had died. At least 8 and possibly 9 people were transported to area hospitals, including one victim who was taken by helicopter. Some suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns but their conditions are unknown.
"Gila County disaster action teams are responding to a massive fatal multiple until apartment fire," the Red Cross said in a statement before officials retracted the report of fatalities. "The Red Cross of Greater Phoenix is preparing to send additional units to respond and open a shelter if necessary. Our thoughts are with those affected by the fire."
The explosion is believed to have been caused by a gas leak, but other details were not immediately known. We're working to gather additional information.
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