Friday 20 September 2019

Body found as huge explosion at US barn ends stand-off with police over kidnap

Nine police officers were hurt during the blast in North Haven, Connecticut.

A fire behind a house in Connecticut. (WFSB-TV via AP)
A fire behind a house in Connecticut. (WFSB-TV via AP)

By Dave Collins in New Haven

A body has been found in a building after an explosion during a stand-off with a man who had taken his wife hostage.

Nine police officers are being treated for non-life threatening injuries and the remains of one unidentified person was found in a building at the home in North Haven, Connecticut, State Police Trooper Kelly Grant said.

He said a post-mortem examination was scheduled to identify the body. He added there is no one in custody.

Emergency personnel work at the scene of an explosion in North Haven (John Woike/Hartford Courant via AP)

Mr Kelly said a woman called police to report domestic violence before the explosion at a barn behind the home on Wednesday night.

First Selectman Michael Freda said the wife escaped before the explosion.

“This started late this afternoon with what was apparently a very violent domestic call,” he told WTIC-TV.

He said the police “were trying to coax him… out of the house and really try to calm the situation down. Then things took a turn for the worse with an explosion.”

Emergency personnel deal with a stand-off that ended in an explosion in North Haven (Catherine Avalone/New Haven Register via AP)

All nine officers remain in hospital. Firefighters continue to battle the barn fire that also damaged other structures and vehicles.

Residents near the home said on the police department’s Facebook page that they heard the explosion and felt their own homes shake.

Additional police rushed to the scene as the fire raged and sounds of smaller explosions were also heard.

First Selectman Michael Freda said the wife had escaped before the explosion (Catherine Avalone/New Haven Register via AP)

Police were heard continuing to try to coax the man out of the house even after the explosion on Wednesday night.

North Haven resident Joan Mazurek, 76, a retired accountant, heard what she thought was a train at her home about a mile away. It was the explosion.

“Then we heard all the, oh my God, all the ambulances and fire engines. The noise from all the emergency vehicles was unbelievable,” she said.

“It’s a shock. Nothing ever happens like this in North Haven.”

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