(CHARLOTTE, S.C.) — A body has been found underneath debris left behind by a large house explosion in North Carolina on Tuesday.
Firefighters also discovered an injured man who was airlifted to a local hospital after he became trapped in the rubble, officials said.
The explosion occurred in the wealthy suburb of Ballantyne, just south of Charlotte, leaving behind fiery rubble and over 80 firefighters scrambling to put out the fire and find any other survivors, the Charlotte Fire Department said on Twitter.
People who were nearby when the explosion occurred told ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC-TV that they felt the ground shake.
“I just went out for a walk. I put my Beats on, and I walked right by the house. I walked on, maybe two minutes, and through my Beats, I heard a boom,” neighbor Lorie Porter told WSOC. “Something told me to turn around and walk back, and I started turning around, and all the neighbors started to run out of their homes. And there’s debris right where I had walked, and the house was just leveled.”
Multiple people called 911 about the explosion and the ensuing fire, including the man who had been trapped inside, the fire department said, adding that he was able to lead them to his location.
By Tuesday evening, firefighters had sawed through piles of wood and were using specialized listening equipment and confined space cameras to search for other possible survivors.
It’s unclear what caused the explosion, which tore into the home next door, where two occupants were injured and later treated by medics on the scene. One other survivor had also been freed after they were found to be conscious and alert, the department said on Twitter.
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