Aftermath of Wappingers Explosion; How to Help, What’s Next?
The Village of Wappingers Falls is still reeling from a massive explosion on Thursday that destroyed an apartment building and left 15 people seriously injured.
In the middle of the day, a loud boom was heard from miles away when a contractor for Central Hudson hit a gas line, causing an explosion. The blast destroyed much of the building on Brick Row and Mill Street, trapping some victims under the rubble.
Tragedy makes national news
The explosion was covered by all of the major networks. Governor Hochul offered prayers for the village while deploying State emergency services to assist local first responders. A spokesperson for Central Hudson said the utility will continue to work with authorities to "make sure there is a complete and thorough investigation into the incident."
Aerial footage gives us a better look at just how much damage was done to the building on Brick Row. The back end of the building where it was believed the gas line was ruptured is completely gone.
Those who were watching the tragedy unfold from the parking area across the lake saw the building engulfed in flames as firefighters desperately worked to keep it from spreading to adjacent buildings.
A before-and-after view of the apartment complex below shows that two entire units of the building were completely destroyed in the blast.
Community Comes Together to Help Victims
The Village of Wappingers is already rallying around the victims of the tragedy by collecting clothes, household items and funds for those who have been displaced by the building collapse.
A GoFundMe has been posted for the families of two Wappingers Junior High students. There is also a fundraiser for the Malone Family who were living at Brick Row. A clothing drive is currently being organized by community members on the Wappingers Falls Parents' Facebook page.
Specifically, they are looking for clothing sizes for the Velez Family that are men’s small, boys 14-16, boys 10-12, girls 10-12 and women's large. Men's sneaker sizes 8/8.5, 7/8, 5 and 3/4 and women's size 8 shoes. Greg Battista of the Wappingers Junior High football team sent an email adding that the Malone Family also needs clothing and shoes sized 11. Donations can be left at 7 Sherwood Heights or 21 Pleasant Lane or directed towards the football team.
Local businesses are also collecting donations and chipping in to help out those affected by the explosion. AJ Cafe immediately opened its doors offering meals and shelter for anyone who had been displaced. County Fare launched a silent auction with all benefits going to the families, while Flores Tapas will be donating a percentage of all sales for the rest of the week.
The Village has planned its First Saturday events for this weekend and local businesses say that they will still go on as planned, but with most of the proceeds going towards the victims of the explosion.
More Information to Follow
As more information is released about the victims and how to help, we will update this page.
Village of Wappingers Falls Home Explosion November 2, 2023
Gallery Credit: Boris