Most of the injured in Tuesday’s explosion doing well enough to leave hospital

Youngstown Mayor Jamel Tito Brown; fire Chief Barry Finley and Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works, are seen at the Covelli Centre Wednesday morning during a press conference on the explosion that destroyed the first floor and killed a man in the basement of the Realty Tower downtown Tuesday afternoon. Staff photo / Ed Runyan

YOUNGSTOWN — One woman who survived the explosion at the Realty Towers building remains in critical condition on a ventilator in surgical intensive care at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, but the six others who were transported to the hospital appear to be doing well enough to be released soon, Youngstown fire Chief Barry Finley said at a press conference today.

Finley, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, Charles Shasho, Youngstown deputy director of public works; and police Chief Carl Davis all spoke at the Covelli Center Community Room this morning to continue to address road closures, talk about the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office and other agencies that are now involved in the investigation into the explosion.

One thing they did not do was confirm that the 2:45 p.m. explosion that killed 27-year-old Akil Drake was caused by natural gas. Finley confirmed that authorities still do not know what caused the explosion, adding the Fire Marshal’s Office is now in charge of the investigation.

Finley said the six other people who were injured in the blast in the Chase Bank on the first floor or in the basement area appear to be doing OK.

“I didn’t hear anything too over and above. You’ve got some injuries, but the lady in surgical intensive, she’s” in the worst condition, Finley said. He would not speculate whether she will pull through. He said all seven individuals who survived were still in the emergency room area of the hospital as of this morning.

“I believe some will be discharged today because it wasn’t that bad. Others probably a few days,” Finley said.

Brown said the bank employee who died was found in the basement.

Meanwhile, the owner of the building, YO Properties 47 LLC, issued a statement on the explosion. It states the company “is shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries resulting from the explosion that occurred.”

“Their heartfelt sympathy and condolences are extended to the family of the young man who lost his life. YO Properties 47, LLC, in cooperation with the relevant governmental agencies, is investigating as to how and why this explosion happened.”

Have an interesting story? Contact Ed Runyan by email at erunyan@vindy.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


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