Red Cross

Investigators Track Willowbrook Explosions to Westmont Gas Station

Suburban residents were rattled Friday after a rash of gas explosions in Willowbrook in which at least two people have been hurt.

Tenants in a Willowbrook apartment complex awoke Friday morning to a loud noise.

Solomon Ozkaptan rushed to the balcony of his condo in the Knolls Complex.

"All of a sudden--explosion--like poof," Ozkaptan said.

He saw neighboring building he described as "crushed."

Investigators say an 81-year-old woman was using the laundry room when there was an explosion.

One of at least 10 incidents starting Thursday afternoon that left two people inured.

Investigators traced the problem to a gas station about a mile away.

They say gas from a Speedway station in Westmont leaked into the sewer system and traveled throughout the area.

The process of clearing the gas will take time.

"We're doing efforts to mitigate like ventilate sewers, adding emulsifiers and foam and continuing to monitor for explosives," said Jim Connolly of the Westmont Fire Department.

Back at the Knolls--utilities have been shutoff and residents of at least 22 units have been displaced.

A few of the many--now being helped by relatives and the Red Cross.

Investigators say as they continue to drain the gas there is still a danger for people living in the area.

If you smell gas, do not turn on any appliances, authorities say. Instead leave your home and call 911 immediately.

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