DUNWOODY, Ga. — One woman was trapped inside her apartment and contemplated trying to get out by breaking her window. A man described people screaming as they evacuated their apartments.
At least four people were injured and 25 apartments were damaged in the incident, which left a dramatic scene of wreckage. There has still not been an official cause declared in the explosion, though witnesses described smelling gas and fire officials confirmed a call came in from the leasing manager prior to the explosion about the smell of gas.
The calls highlight the panicked, frantic moments following the explosion as residents tried to process what had just happened.
One of the calls came from a woman who'd become trapped in her home.
"There was an explosion, I can't get out of my apartment," she told 911 dispatchers. "I'm about to break the window. There's smoke - I don't know what happened, just a huge explosion. My door - I can't get out the door."
"Should I break out the window? I think I need to, I see smoke," she said.
The woman made it out safely.
In one call, a woman in obvious distress told dispatchers, "the whole building is gone."
"Please get here quick... I don't know if it was a bomb or an earthquake, I don't know," she said.
One man described the scene outside following the explosion, telling dispatchers, "People are screaming right now."
"I think a lot of people got hurt, the building just collapsed," he said.
Another man described his disbelief over the phone.
"It just blew up - like it's, it just went ballistic. It just blew up," he said. "It hit people hard, everybody's outside because we're all scared."
The dispatchers fielded dozens of calls from residents and people in the surrounding area who heard the explosion.
"You got to get people here now. There's people that are severely injured," one man said. "I can't see, but something blew up the whole front of the complex."
Another caller described the scene, saying apartments were "literally demolished." Another said "half the building is blown up."
"Nobody can get out because the driveway has rubble everywhere," that caller said. "Big emergency."
11Alive has contacted apartment management several times since Sunday, but they still had not responded as of late Wednesday.
Atlanta Gas Light says they were en route to the complex when the blast happened. Most residents are staying at nearby hotels because gas service remains shut off while crews check units for gas leaks.
Structural engineers have been assessing the damage to give the green light to more residents to move back in once their units are deemed safe.