ARIZONA NEWS

4 injured in explosion at Chandler strip mall; area evacuated

Aug 26, 2021, 10:27 AM | Updated: 8:31 pm

PHOENIX – Four people were hospitalized and the area was evacuated after a “devastating” explosion at a Chandler strip mall Thursday morning, authorities said.

All businesses on the northeast corner of Ray and Rural roads, as well as 20-30 homes to the north, were evacuated while crews checked for gas leaks and other potential hazards, Chandler Battalion Chief Keith Welch said during a press conference.

Dashcam video obtained by ABC15 of the explosion that occurred just before 9:30 a.m. at Platinum Printing showed hunks of roofing materials hurtling high into the air.

Four young men inside the building were hospitalized for burn injuries. They were all in stable condition and expected to survive, Dr. Kevin Foster, director of the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise Health, said in a video press conference Thursday afternoon.

Foster said two patients were in the ICU and in critical condition, and two were in serious condition. He said they had burns ranging from 16% to 30% of their bodies.

Foster said they all will need surgery and extended hospital stays, but the injuries could have been worse considering the extent of the damage at the scene.

“The fact that anybody walked away from that is really amazing to me,” he said.

Welch said it was unclear if the people injured were employees or customers of the print shop.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, but Welch said authorities were checking for a possible gas leak in a parking lot next to the building.

“But I can tell you it was intense because of the debris — it was over 100 yards away. … And then we also had damage in approximately three suites away from the initial suite, damage to the walls, movement of the walls,” he said.

“It was a pretty devastating explosion.”

Welch said the emergency response included more than 100 personnel.

Police said responders would be working at the scene for “an extended period of time” and asked people to avoid the area. Ray Road was shut down between Rural Road and McClintock Drive.

Children at the Maxwell Preschool Academy, which is on the opposite end of the strip mall from the explosion site, were evacuated to the Sunrise Preschool on the northwest corner of Rural and Ray, police said.

The Chandler Sunset Library, which is just east of the explosion site, is closed until further notice.

TV news helicopter footage showed most of roof missing at Platinum Printing and adjoining businesses.

Debris was scattered on all sides of the building.

A witness told ABC15 he heard and felt the explosion from his home half a mile away.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
KTAR.com

Hear stories from 2022 Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s with KTAR, Arizona Sports

Here are the stories of five kids from this year's Phoenix Children's Give-A-Thon that are living examples of the quality care provided at the hospital.
6 hours ago
(Twitter photo: @DougDucey)...
KTAR.com

Arizona DHS director says state couldn’t wait on shipping container wall at southern border

With a high number of migrants crossing the border, Tim Roemer said Arizona couldn't wait any longer to use the shipping containers.
6 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/University of Arizona)...
KTAR.com

UArizona preparing for new semester with COVID, monkeypox, flu threats

The University of Arizona begins its 2022-23 academic year on Monday and President Robert Robbins said the school is monitoring the prevalence of health risks such as COVID, monkeypox and the flu.
6 hours ago
(Flickr File Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)...
KTAR.com

Man pleads guilty to bribing border agent as part of human smuggling conspiracy

A man accused of bribing a border agent as part of a human smuggling operation pleaded guilty in Arizona last week, federal authorities said Monday.
6 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Human Services Campus)...
KTAR.com

Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee kicks off water drive to help homeless population

The Arizona Super Bowl LVII Host Committee kicked off a monthlong water drive Monday to help organizations that serve the Valley’s homeless population.
6 hours ago
(Facebook photo: Steak 44)...
KTAR.com

6 Arizona restaurants make OpenTable’s best date night spots

Teaming up with the app Bumble, OpenTable came up with the best 100 spots for a date night, with six Arizona restaurants making the list. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
4 injured in explosion at Chandler strip mall; area evacuated