BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — First responders say at least two people were taken to the hospital after an apparent gas leak led to an explosion at an apartment complex. It happened at the Park 20th Apartment Complex on 20th Street near V Street. First responders were called there just after 2 p.m.
The blast ripped part of the apartment completely off the building, leaving glass and debris on the ground. People living in the complex say the explosion hit like a bomb.
“It felt like someone picked me up and threw me across the apartment. The sprinklers went off and I got soaked,” said Mark Bennett, who lives at the apartment complex. “I heard a bunch of screaming and yelling. My next door neighbor’s apartment that’s what blew up. Initially I thought someone planted a bomb outside my door.”
Paramedics took one a man away on a stretcher. Firefighters say two people are injured. They were rushed to a local hospital as city fire evacuated the rest of the building. The Bakersfield Fire Department says gas lines were still leaking when they arrived.
This isn’t just any apartment complex. Gov. Gavin Newsom attended its grand opening in 2019. It was built thanks to federal, state and local funding to house homeless veterans and low-income families. People at the scene tell 17 News Thursday’s explosion happened in a veteran’s room.
A few key questions remain unanswered. We don’t know how this gas leak started, or what sparked the explosion.
This is a developing story.