Pittsburgh native Akil Drake killed in Youngstown building explosion

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (KDKA) — The identity of the victim killed in an explosion that rocked downtown Youngstown, Ohio, Tuesday afternoon has been released.

He was identified as Akil Drake, 27, of Pittsburgh, by the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office.

Akil Drake was killed in a building explosion in downtown Youngstown, Ohio on May 28, 2024.

Credit: Provided

The building that exploded houses a Chase Bank downstairs. Drake was an employee of the bank and working at the time of the explosion.

Chase Bank provided KDKA-TV with the following statement:

“The JPMorgan Chase family mourns the loss of our colleague. Our thoughts are with their families as well as our injured employees, their families and others affected by this tragedy. We will continue to work with local authorities to support them. “

Drake graduated from Penn Hills High School in 2015. He played football at Penn Hills, which led to his off-the-field role on the Youngstown State football team in college. His hard work and determination are what his loved ones remember him for.

The devastating news was difficult for John Peterman, Drake’s former football coach at Penn Hills. He said Drake was the type of player every coach wanted.

“He always did what we asked him to do, which was one of his great qualities,” Peterman said.

That hard work continued at Youngstown State, where Drake worked on filming, editing and producing the football film study videos under the direction of Mark Preto. He graduated in 2019 after majoring in finance.

“He worked hard. He was someone you wanted to see succeed in life or help if you can,” Preto said.

Those close to him remember Drake for his smile.

“Wherever it was at football practice, at school, in the hallways, he was always in a good mood,” Peterman said.

Drake pushed himself in school and always worked to get ahead. Preto felt like Drake was putting everything together in life. This tragedy left him speechless as to what he would say to Drake’s family and loved ones.

“Nothing could express what they’re going through. I could express thoughts and prayers, but it’s too prevalent,” Preto said.

In a statement to KDKA-TV, the Penn Hills School District said, in part, that it “expresses its deepest sympathies to Akil’s family as well as others affected by this tragic explosion. Akil will be missed to all”.

Youngstown State said in a statement to KDKA-TV that “our thoughts and prayers are with Akil’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.” We also extend our deepest condolences to those who were injured and their families, and to all. those affected by this incident.

Seven injured in explosion, some remain hospitalized

In addition to the death of Drake, 27, seven people were injured in the explosion that rocked the bank and Realty Building on East Federal Street around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Youngstown Fire Chief Barry Finley said seven people were taken to the hospital and one was placed on a ventilator. Youngstown’s mayor said six of them worked at the bank.

As of Tuesday, one person is in critical condition, three have been treated and released, and three others remain in the hospital, according to our CBS affiliate WBKN.

The cause of the explosion remains unknown

Gas has since been cut off to the entire area as a precaution while work continues to determine the cause of the explosion which destroyed the first floor of the 13-story building.

Although it is still unknown, witnesses said it “felt like a mini earthquake.”

“It was a loud bang,” said Damia Rizwan, who lives a block from where the explosion occurred. “My building shook.”

In an article on the social media platform

Leave a Comment