9-1-1 tapes of Gate City explosion released - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

9-1-1 tapes of Gate City explosion released

Posted: Updated:
Rubble from the apartment unit that exploded in Gate City. Source: WBRC video Rubble from the apartment unit that exploded in Gate City. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The 9-1-1 tapes from a natural gas explosion in Gate City were released on Wednesday, giving a chilling account of the terror residents experienced that day.

The explosion flattened two apartment units, killing one person and injuring several others.

More than two hours of 9-1-1 calls and police chatter offer an audible glimpse of how that horrible morning unfolded.

[Warning: Audio is graphic and may not be suitable for children.]

The first 911 call came in at 2:28 a.m. on Dec.17, 2013.

Caller: Ma'am. We was trying to get the fire department man. Somebody's apartment just blowed up.

Over the next 30 minutes, close to 20 more calls would be placed, alerting first responders to the explosion inside a Gate City apartment unit. Each caller sounded increasingly more frantic than the one before.

Caller: "Hey, we got an explosion. I'm talking about a big fire explosion."

Background: "Oh, my God."

Operator: "OK, they people out the house?

Caller: "We trying to get them out but it's blazing. Y'all need somebody here now."

Operator: "Okay. We got people heading that way.

Caller: "And please hurry. I'm talking about the whole building is down."

At one point, a mother can be heard screaming for her children.

Background: (Screams) "Where they at? Where they at?"

Neighbors quickly reassure her they are fine.

Background: "Val. Val. We got them over there."

The calls continued to pour in.

Caller: "Baby, the whole apartment unit just blew and it's people in the unit and you can hear them screaming. It's burning and you can hear them."

One caller who lives more than two miles away puts the power of the explosion in perspective when she asks about a loud blast she just heard.

Caller: "Where at though?"

Operator: "Somewhere near Gate City."

Caller: "Gate City?"

Operator: "Yes, ma'am."

Caller: "This is East Lake. Sounded like it was about a block or two away."

As sirens finally arrive, you can hear one victim crying for a loved one, as another one begs and pleads with her to leave the scene.

Background: "Come on. Please come on. I know. Come on. I know. Come on. You can't stay here. Come on. Come on. I know. (Cries) I know. (Sirens) You can't stay here. (Sirens)"

During the police chatter, you could hear as one officer was at St. Vincent's hospital, talking with another officer, telling him the mom and boyfriend are still unaccounted for.

Those victims would be 40-year-old Tyrnennis Mabry who died in that explosion.

Mabry's fiance, Darryle Brown, was seriously injured in that blast. They were found inches apart from each other in the rubble of the apartment unit.

Preliminary reports from the NTSB, the agency investigating the case, says they suspect natural gas as the cause of the explosion.

In March, Alagasco finished a four-mile pipe replacement project in the Gate City community.

Mabyr's family is suing Alagasco and the Birmingham Housing Authority over her death. It's one of several lawsuits filed in connection to the deadly explosion.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.