IL – Two people were taken to hospitals Friday following an explosion that leveled a commercial building in Chicago.
The two-story structure at 3411 S. Wood St., at Archer Avenue, was completely leveled by an explosion. The Fire Department said two people were taken to hospitals in fair to good condition.
WBBM-TV reported that two people narrowly escaped from the explosion, firefighters said. When firefighters arrived, a heavy fire was already burning.
Peoples Energy received a call about a smell of gas at the location at about 12:44 p.m., and the explosion occurred while their crew was on the scene.
The Fire Department called a Level 1 hazardous materials response for the explosion and also sent several ambulances.
After the explosion, a cloud of acrid smoke rose up, causing delays on the nearby Stevenson Expressway.
Archer Avenue was closed to all traffic between Damen and Ashland avenues following the explosion.
As of just before 2 p.m., fire crews were hosing down the site of the building from the ground and a tower ladder. The explosion left a crater in the ground surrounded by rubble. A chain link fence that may have been in place for construction at the site was buckled.
The investigation into the cause of the explosion will take hours, if not days, to complete.