Explosion in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, leaves one dead, one missing and several injured

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (KDKA) — One person is dead, another is missing and several others were injured after an explosion caused significant damage to a building in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, Tuesday afternoon .

A man’s body was found at the scene early Wednesday morning, according to WKBN. The 27-year-old man was employed at the bank.

A woman is still missing, but Youngstown Fire Chief Barry Finley said the woman’s car was not at the scene and she has not been identified at any area hospital. It is therefore clear that she was in the building when the explosion occurred.

The explosion happened at the Realty Building on East Federal Street around 3 p.m., the chief said.

Seven people were taken to hospital, including one on a ventilator.

Photos show the building’s facade is damaged and the facade was torn off. The building houses a Chase Bank downstairs and apartments upstairs. The area was evacuated after the explosion.

An explosion rocked the Realty Building in Youngstown, Ohio on May 28, 2024.


People reported smelling gas and hearing a boom, but the fire chief said the cause was unknown. CBS affiliate WKBN reports that construction workers were working in the basement when they heard a hissing sound, smelled gas and ran out of the building before it exploded.

Finley says they have to wait until the building is deemed safe before firefighters can enter. A man and a woman are missing, authorities said.

“The sheriff’s department sent the mini drone into the basement. They said there was nothing to see,” Finley said. “The ground has collapsed in on itself, there’s nothing to see, it’s full of water. So honestly, we don’t know if this person is there or not. When we get the authorization to go down into the building, we will do so.”

An explosion severely damaged the first floor of the Realty Building in downtown Youngstown, which houses a Chase Bank.


Emergency services are asking the population to avoid the area until further notice. Youngstown police said, “the situation is being actively managed.” Structural engineers and Enbridge Gas workers were called to the scene Tuesday.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal is leading the investigation.

Witnesses describe explosion in downtown Youngstown, Ohio

Damia Rizwan lives a block from where the explosion happened Tuesday. Rizwan said it “felt like a mini earthquake.”

“It was a loud bang,” Rizwan said. “My building shook.”

“My stomach dropped,” Rizwan added. “I said it was different and it wasn’t right. When I heard people screaming, I felt like something bad had happened.”

Taylor Botsford, another witness to the explosion, also described the moment.

“A lot of emotions right now because a friend of mine was at the bank across the street and he came in to grab some people and I don’t know – I haven’t seen him since” , Botsford said.

Youngstown is about an hour from Pittsburgh, near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border.

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