Washington, DC gas explosion sends 1 to hospital, damages daycare | Video

ByIda Domingo & Winston Rogers, WJLA
Friday, January 19, 2024
Washington gas explosion sends 1 to hospital, damages daycare
A Washington, DC explosion sent 1 person to the hospital and damaged a daycare Thursday. A giant fireball was caught on video.

WASHINGTON -- A gas explosion at a convenience store in Washington, D.C. sent one person to the hospital and damaged a daycare Thursday.

Crews were expected to work into at least early Friday morning to clean up and investigate the incident, WJLA reported.

The explosion Thursday morning destroyed the store and damaged two other buildings, including a daycare, where the children and staff barely made it to safety before the blast.

DC fire and EMS said it was fast thinking that saved lives.

"Daycare staff was clothing the children, putting their coats on, getting them into their strollers so they could be brought out of the building," DC fire and EMS Lt. Ryan Bolton said.

Bolton said in his 15-year career he has never experienced anything like this.

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Sixteen children were among dozens evacuated before an explosion happened 10 minutes later, damaging the convenience store, an office building and the daycare.

"That decision saved lives. When the crew got here, they noticed that the meter was damaged. It's on the outside of the building, and where the damage was was below the above ground shutoff. It happens. They're well-trained; they know what to do. They could smell the gas, and they immediately evacuated," DC Fire and EMS Chief John Donnelly said.

Donnelly said a truck ran into a gas meter around 9:30 a.m., which resulted in a gas leak they couldn't control.

"This is an extreme. We have had other gas explosions, but this is the first one that I know of that was next to a daycare," Donnelly said.

The explosion was caught on video, and a fireball could be seen shooting out of the area, toward first responders on the street.

One person was injured by flying debris and taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Officials said work is underway to restore power and gas to nearby residents and to provide temporary housing to those who might need it.

ABC News contributed to this report.