Several Injured in Massive Ohio Bank Explosion

( – A bank employee was killed in a natural gas explosion at an Ohio bank in Youngstown on May 28th, leaving staff in shock.

The explosion, caused by a gas leak, killed 27-year-old Akil Drake when it destroyed the first floor of Chase Bank and injured at least seven other staff. According to the Mahoning County Coroner, Drake’s body was found at 1 a.m. the following morning.

The Youngstown Police Department confirmed the discovery, saying Drake had been seen in the building right before the blast, and was found “unfortunately deceased.”

Those who knew Drake, and those who didn’t, are offering words of sorrow about the tragedy. Lauren McNally, formerly a Youngstown city councilor and currently a representative in the state house said the blast will have a “chilling impact on the community.” She offered her “deepest sympathies” to Drake’s family and to the entire bank staff and their families.

Drake’s former high school praised him as a student and described him as gifted at sports. In a written statement, Penn Hills School District (near Pittsburgh) said Drake graduated in 2015 and “excelled on the football field.”

Enbridge Gas Ohio, the utility company that supplies natural gas to the area, responded to a call that day about the 2:15 pm explosion, but the cause of the blast is not yet known. EGO said the State Fire Marshal will lead the investigation, and asked the public for patience, reminding people that forensic investigations do take time. The company offered its condolences to the affected families and friends.

The seven other people who survived with injuries are being treated at Mercy Health Hospital, which said one was in critical condition. There were no further details available about the survivors at the time of this report.

Though it is not clear why the agency is involved, the National Transportation Safety Board is also on the scene investigating the blast. The NTSB said the public can expect a preliminary report in 30 days, but it will likely be one to two years before the final report is released. Investigators are eyeing a “third-party cut” to a gas line servicing the building as a clue to the cause.

Copyright 2024,