Investigation underway after gas explosion critically injures 2 in Franklin

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Franklin 600 Campbell Avenue explosion (April 15)
Franklin 600 Campbell Avenue explosion (April 15)
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Posted at 1:20 AM, Apr 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-16 22:25:13-04

FRANKLIN, Va. - Two people were critically injured after an explosion at a duplex in the 600 block of Campbell Avenue in Franklin Friday night.

Dispatchers got a call about a potential explosion around 10:50 p.m.

According to City Manager Amanda Jarratt, "While the exact cause of the explosion remains undetermined, the preliminary investigation indicates that it was a propane explosion. There does not seem to be a criminal element involved. There is no natural gas in Franklin."

News 3 sent a photographer to the scene. Jarratt said there was one injury in each duplex.

Franklin 600 Campbell Avenue explosion (April 15)

One victim was airlifted to a trauma center, while the other was taken to a local medical facility. As of Saturday morning, both people, a man and a woman, are still in critical condition.

Residents in the area told us they heard a loud explosion that shook their homes. A viewer gave us this security footage of the explosion:

Ring doorbell footage of Franklin duplex explosion

Video courtesy of Instagram user @RealjayyB

Another neighbor, Lillian Hicks, says she woke up in a panic before noticing the explosion had blown out her window.

"It really scared me," she said. "I heard this big boom and my stuff fell off my wall in the living room...decorations, pictures, family pictures."

Hicks and her fellow neighbor, Donisha, say they mistook the explosion for a possible earthquake.

"I was scared. I didn't know what it was," Hicks explained. "I thought somebody was kicking the door in but then I actually saw the fire."

"I didn't know if it was an earthquake or what but I knew something was wrong," she added.

News 3 also spoke with Gid Bynum, who used to live in the duplex that caught fire.

"It sounded like a bomb went out," he said. "I'm just blessed that I wasn't there and had moved."

The fire was brought under control just after 11 p.m.

City officials are asking people to stay clear of the impacted area.

This incident is still under investigation. An insurance company is now working to investigate the explosion.

While the cause is still under investigation it is believed to be a propane explosion.