CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A woman was found dead and a man was seriously injured after an explosion destroyed a home in Ballantyne Tuesday afternoon.
The incident happened before 2 p.m. at a home on James Jack Lane, which is off Ballantyne Commons Parkway. / Source: WBTV
The victims’ names have not been released.
Officials say the man was airlifted to the hospital after he was found inside the home.
The incident happened before 2 p.m. at a home on James Jack Lane, which is off Ballantyne Commons Parkway in Ballantyne Country Club.
Just after 4:30 p.m., officials held a press conference and said that a man inside the home during the explosion was able to call 911 from the wreckage. When the man was located, he was airlifted to a local hospital with very serious injuries.
Around 10 p.m., officials said they located the second victim, a woman who was pronounced dead.
“It was a difficult process to locate her,” said Charlotte Fire Department Battalion Chief Matt Westover.
It took nearly seven hours to find the woman Tuesday night.
Charlotte fire officials did confirm that the man who was seriously injured gave helpful information to locate the woman and himself.
Officials are not looking for anyone else in this incident.
“With the information we’ve been provided, we are confident that we have retrieved all those that were involved in the incident,” Westover said.
The man’s name and condition have not been released, but officials said he was alert and conscious when he was freed from the rubble.
At 6:45 p.m., officials tweeted that they were using specialized listening equipment and confined space cameras during the search efforts. A no-fly zone was established to reduce noise in the area.
Around 8:30 p.m., officials said Mecklenburg EMS treated seven firefighters on scene with IVs. Those firefighters went back to work. One firefighter was taken to a local hospital for dehydration.
Soon after the explosion, multiple people reported debris striking nearby homes.
From WBTV’s Sky3, the home appeared to be completely destroyed. Flames and smoke could be seen coming from the rubble, and debris littered the area. Damage could be seen on the roofs of nearby homes.
“The whole house shook. Everything shook. The desk shook, the T.V. shook - I almost thought for a second it was an earthquake, or a car crashed into my house or a tree fell on my house,” one neighbor said. “We go outside, and everyone else is coming out of their houses, too, and they think the same thing we did - everyone thought a tree fell on their house."
“I am working literally across the golf course from the explosion, sounded like a bomb, shook the whole neighborhood,” said James Lyda Jr. "I honestly thought someone had fired a cannon for the Fourth - a really BIG cannon. But I lost my footing from the shockwave.”
The boom could reportedly be heard and felt almost five miles away.
By 3:30 p.m., more than 80 firefighters from multiple agencies had responded to the scene. Officials said during a press conference just before 4 p.m. that nearby homes were searched and deemed safe.
Medics confirmed they were evaluating two patients with non life-threatening injuries from surrounding homes. It is unclear exactly how they were injured, and their names have not been released.
Those in the community brought the firefighters food and drinks, as they continued the search.
Piedmont Natural Gas officials said they were at the scene as well and working directly with Charlotte firefighters. Officials also determined that the pipelines in that area are operating.
There is no word on what may have caused the explosion, but officials say the cause is under investigation.
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