Victim ID’d in Canton, Ill. gas explosion-UPDATED

canton-explosion

UPDATE: Officials have completed their assessments of the damage caused by the explosion.

48 buildings have been deemed habitable and needing few repairs. One building hast been listed as uninhabitable; it needs extensive repairs. Three buildings are a total loss.

Displaced residents are urged to contact the Salvation Army Red Kettle line for assistance at 309-232-8774.

Displaced residents needing access to their apartments must call 309-713-6741 to schedule a time to be given access. The Fulton County ESDA say they are making every effort to allow residents back into their apartments, but they can not do so until engineers have determined it safe.

Businesses needing assistance should call the Chamber of Commerce contact line at 309-713-6739.

UPDATE: Officials have identified the victim who died in the gas explosion Wednesday night as 38-year-old Arturo Silva Jr. of Mapleton, Ill. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, November 17, 2016.

Original:

CANTON, Ill. (KWQC) — An Ameren employee is dead following a gas explosion in Canton, Ill. Police say eleven other people are hurt.

The explosion happened just before 6 p.m. Wednesday while four Ameren employees were working on a gas leak.

“Just a massive rumble and a big boom,” said Ryan Chaney, of Canton. “Everything came crashing down at one time.”

Fulton County emergency crews say several buildings are badly damaged.

“It sounded like a bomb,” said Hope Hopepotsch, of Canton. “Just a big commotion and we all just stopped. We all ran to the window to figure out what’s wrong.”

Several people living near the explosion are displaced. They’re staying at the Salvation Army shelter in Canton.

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