ONEIDA, NY – A teenager in Oneida, New York is now facing a slew of criminal charges after allegedly stealing an SUV, crashing it into a residential building, and triggering a massive gas explosion. The 17-year-old’s actions, which took place on September 9, led to the complete destruction of a home, as shown in bodycam footage released by the Oneida City Police Department.
The incident began when the stolen vehicle collided with a house on West Elm Street around 3 a.m., resulting in a severe natural gas leak. Police and fire department personnel promptly evacuated residents from six surrounding homes, while awaiting the National Grid utility company to cut off the gas supply. Approximately three hours after the crash, the affected building exploded.
The explosion was captured on bodycam footage, showing debris being hurled into the air and forcing first responders to seek cover. “It was very loud…sent multiple first responders around the back of a fire truck for safety while debris was falling from the sky,” Sgt. Mike Burgess recounted during a news conference. The blast also caused significant damage to nearby buildings, according to a chief from the Oneida City Fire Department.
The incident drew a large crowd of onlookers, prompting the police to request the public to keep their distance. They urged people to be considerate of the victims who were trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. Despite the scale of the disaster, no injuries were reported among residents or emergency personnel. The Red Cross and other agencies stepped in to assist the displaced residents.
The teenager involved was officially charged on September 21. After his arrest and processing, he was presented before the Madison County Court’s Youth Part and arraigned. He was then released to an adult, with specific guidelines to follow.