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Residents Still Displaced Following Oak Cliff Apartments Explosion

City

Emergency personnel walking through debris at apartment explosion. | Image by Tom Fox

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Residents remained displaced a day after an explosion rocked a southeast Oak Cliff apartment complex. As previously reported by the Dallas Express, the explosion occurred Wednesday morning, injuring eight people, including three firefighters who were taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said in a statement that he was waiting for the department to finish its investigation before concluding on the cause of the explosion.

Neighborhood residents, however, said they smelled gas in the area for up to twelve hours before the explosion. Firefighters were investigating the source of the gas leak when the blast occurred around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29.

The resulting explosion caused one corner of the two-story, 10-unit building to collapse. The structures and windows of the surrounding units were blown out and sustained other damages.

Natural-gas service was cut off to the apartment complex while authorities investigated the cause of the explosion, leaving about three hundred people displaced.

The American Red Cross, in partnership with Dallas’ Office of Emergency Management, is working to find new accommodations for displaced residents. The Red Cross also distributed supplies to over 150 displaced people from sixty families who registered with them.

The Red Cross also added that families might be allowed to return to their homes once authorities determine it is safe.

A memo sent to Dallas Council members on Thursday stated that it was possible, but unlikely, that the displaced residents would be allowed to return to their homes within seventy-two hours.

In a news conference, City Council member Tennell Atkins said he was concerned about the affected residents. Atkins said they need clothes, comfort, food, and other amenities.

Atkins, whose district includes the apartment complex, added that he is making efforts to identify people affected to receive the assistance needed.

“This is a neighborhood that is underserved, that needs a better quality of life, needs grocery stores, that needs basic services,” Atkins said. “It’s all about quality of life.”

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