Woman killed instantly in explosion which left street looking ‘like warzone’
A 92-year-old woman was killed instantly after a huge explosion destroyed her house and damaged at least seven neighbouring houses.
The blast occurred in the Buffalo suburb of Lackawanna in the US state of New York on Tuesday morning, rocking the entire neighbourhood.
Officials have since identified the woman as Irene Sanok.
The authorities for the City of Lackawanna released a statement: "Upon arrival, Lackawanna fire and police crews found the 91 Bedford Avenue home completely destroyed with fire burning from the home’s foundation and in a portion of the debris field scattered on the north and south ends of the street.
"Mrs. Irene Sanok, 92 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Erie County Medical Examiner
"At present, it is believed that no other people were inside the residence at the time of the explosion. We are not aware of any injuries sustained by nearby residents or emergency workers.
"The City of Lackawanna extends its condolences to Mrs. Sanok’s family and asks the community to keep her and her family in their thoughts and prayers."
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Lackawanna Fire Captain Andrew Kaminski told USA TODAY that the cause has not yet been determined but it was thought to be a gas explosion.
Everyone in the surrounding area was evacuated and local TV stations have reported that around 600 residents lost power following the explosion.
Neighbour and volunteer firefighter, Michael Salamone, told local reporters: "It looked like we had a bomb go off.
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"I’ve never been in a war zone, but it looked like a war zone, debris all over.
"We had debris in our backyards, like, other side of the house. There’s debris stuck in windshields."
One panicked neighbour, Heather Gulas-Karaszewski told Spectrum News: "I grabbed my cats [and] stuck them in a carrier. I grabbed my medication…my purse and my stuff that I needed. Yeah, I grabbed my wedding dress too, and my veil.”
Officials expect the investigation to take several days before determining the cause of the explosion.
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