Two men had to be airlifted to the hospital after a huge house explosion in Steuben County. It happened Friday morning in Corning. Our Bill Mich has more.
CORNING, N.Y. -- Neighbors say it was a quiet and peaceful Friday morning until a thunderous blast shook their homes and knocked items off the walls. The noise they heard was the house at 48 Wilson Street exploding. When residents came outside, they said it looked like a war zone.
It was around 11 a.m. when a rumble could be felt throughout the Ciity of Corning.
"We looked out and things were flying through the air. It was crazy. And somebody just came running through the back yard said, 'A house blew up, a house blew up,’" Melva Williams said.
That house was at 48 Wilson Street in Corning. Now, nothing is left but debris.
Pieces of wood were thrown into the trees behind the house and insulation can be found as far away as the Corning Museum of Glass.
There were two people in the basement of the home when the explosion occurred: An 80-year-old man and his roughly 40-year-old grandson.
"The on duty firefighters rescued them from the basement, took them to safety and gave them immediate first aid. We then sent them by ambulance and they were flown to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse for further treatment," Corning Fire Chief John Tighe said.
Other homes sustained damage as well. Houses across the street had windows blown out, but it was the two houses on either side that got hit the worst. In fact, 46 Wilson Street, directly to the right of the explosion has already been declared uninhabitable.
"You can compare this damage to what happened in Horseheads and what happened in Elmira Heights,” Tighe said.
Authorities say they are still unsure what caused the explosion. They say they have talked to numerous neighbors and have gotten a ton of believable stories, but can't say for sure until they have had time to investigate.
We're told the injuries to the two men inside the home were in serious condition, but their names and conditions have not been released.
The Red Cross provided food and water for the first responders and made sure all affected families in the neighborhood had a place to stay.
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