Two people injured after house explosion in east Columbus

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two people have been injured after an explosion at a home in east Columbus. 

At about 8:15am, Friday, crews with the Columbus Division of Fire were called to Atcheson Street and N. 20th Street on the report of an explosion. 

According to Columbus firefighters a male and a female, who has been identified 36-year-old Vernice Hill, were injured in the explosion. Both were taken to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in critical condition.

Police say the home was supposed to be vacant and are investigating why the people were inside at the time of the explosion. 

Firefighters continue to investigate the cause of the explosion. 

Neighbors in the area said they felt and hear the explosion from several blocks away.

Some had their windows blown out.

The Refuge Missionary Baptist Church claims they have damage to some of their support beams inside of the church, ceiling tiles were knocked loose, and a door frame shifted.

No one was inside the church at the time of the explosion.

Columbia Gas released the following statement: 

Our thoughts are with the families and community dealing with the impact of the explosion in Near East Columbus.

We are assisting the City of Columbus Division of Fire and Columbus Division of Police in the investigation of a house explosion that occurred this morning near the intersection of North 20th Street and North Atcheson Street.

Our crews are currently conducting a thorough inspection of our service lines and main lines in the area and so far indicates safe and normal operation of our system. The investigation is on-going, and we will provide updates as soon as they become available.

We want to assure our customers and the Columbus community of the safe operation of our natural gas system.

Our customers expect and deserve safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to their homes and businesses, and we are committed to delivering it. Natural gas safety requires a partnership between Columbia Gas of Ohio, our customers, and communities. Important customer safety reminders include:

  • If a customer smells an odor of natural gas, they should leave the area immediately, move to a safe location and call Columbia Gas of Ohio at 800-344-4077 and 911.
  • Contact certified contractors or plumbers for maintenance or repair work on natural gas appliances and house lines.
  • Always call 811 at least two business days before beginning an excavation project to have all underground utilities located. It is a free service that ensures the safety of our community.

Keep checking for real-time updates on this story. To get alerts for breaking news, grab the free NBC4 News App for iPhone or Android. You can also sign up for email alerts.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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