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Man dies days after Chicago building partially collapses in explosion – NBC Chicago

A man has died days after an explosion and building collapse in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood led to a massive emergency response, street closures and numerous evacuations.

The man was the most seriously injured of eight people hospitalized after the explosion, Chicago Fire Department said Friday, and was taken to Loyola University Medical Center “with severe burns.”

Additional information about the man was not immediately available.

The collapse happened just after 9 a.m. Tuesday on West Washington Boulevard and North Central Avenue. The department said an explosion occurred on North Central Avenue and West End Avenue, causing the upper story of a residential building to partially collapse.

Firefighters said Tuesday afternoon that at least three people were in critical condition, while five others were in stable condition. All of the victims were taken to various hospitals in the city with injuries ranging from burns to traumatic injuries, according to firefighters.

A building collapsed Tuesday morning on Chicago’s West Side after an explosion nearby, and firefighters called for help from a high-traffic ambulance bus after multiple injuries were confirmed and a search continued of people who may still be inside the building.

More than 130 emergency personnel responded to the scene and a final search was conducted as firefighters said they did not believe there were any other trapped victims.

Firefighters said the cause of the blast was not known but an investigation was underway. Peoples Gas and ComEd confirmed the two companies were responding to the scene, but it was unclear whether gas was involved.

Residents were displaced by the blast and adjacent buildings were evacuated.

“A big bang, doors opening, windows shattering – it was crazy, man,” Ronald Martin, a resident who’s lived in the building for several years, told NBC 5. “I was preparing breakfast, just a usual morning, myself getting ready to work and it stopped automatically.”

The building is owned by West End LLC and managed by Urban Alternatives.

“This is a devastating event and we are heartbroken for all of our residents,” Roman Viere, owner of the building, said in a statement. “Our primary concern is the health, well-being and safety of our residents. We are doing everything we can to cooperate with the emergency services and we are ready to do whatever we can to support our residents.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted that her thoughts were with the injured and the firefighters working at the scene.

“My heart goes out to those injured and displaced in the building collapse in the Austin neighborhood. We must also thank the brave men and women of the Chicago Fire Department who are working to reduce the dangerous conditions,” she wrote.

NBC Chicago

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