One dead in Gate City explosion

IRMINGHAM, AL (WIAT) – An early morning explosion at a Gate City apartment complex has left one person dead and numerous others in the hospital.

Tyrennis Laval Mabry, 40, died on the scene.

The explosion happened around 2:30 a.m. in the Marks Village Apartments in Gate City. The blast destroyed two five-bedroom apartments.

Witnesses say they heard a loud boom, smelled gas and heard screams coming from the area.

A total of seven people were taken to Birmingham hospitals, including four children, a juvenile and two adults.

At one point during search and rescue, two people were unaccounted for, according to Chief Mardis with Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service. However, those two people, Mabry and Daryle Brown, were found beneath a heap of rubble.

Mardis said Mabry appeared to have sustained crushing injuries as well as burns.

The exact cause of the explosion has not been determined, but Alagasco made it to the scene Tuesday morning to investigate. Initially, natural gas service was cut off from the adjacent buildings in the community, but as of 3:42 p.m., service was restored to all but about 12 units.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Birmingham Tuesday evening to conduct an investigation as well. The NTSB investigates pipeline incidents in addition to transportation incidents.

Additional investigators with the NTSB are expected in Birmingham Wednesday, and a press briefing will be held sometime midday.

The American Red Cross is working with displaced families to provide shelter, food, clothes and counseling at the shelter set up at the Gate City Recreation Center.

“We have some incredible volunteers who are clinically trained to do counseling so they have been here talking to people and then working with some of the residents who were impacted,” said Chris Osborne. “Some of the stories that they’ve said were just heart wrenching, but having that listening ear is one of the first steps to recovery, so we are proud that we can offer that service.”

Copyright 2013 WIAT CBS42

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