Oneida’s West Elm Street house in Madison County reduced to rubble after stolen SUV triggers gas leak and explosion

Stolen SUV hits house in Oneida; gas leak leads to explosion. No fatalities were reported; a minor faces charges.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the quiet town of Oneida in Madison County, New York, was jolted by a devastating explosion. A house located at 532 West Elm Street was engulfed in flames and reduced to rubble hours after a stolen SUV rammed into it, causing a gas leak.

“Miraculously, no one was killed in or around the house,” Mayor Helen Acker confirmed in the aftermath. While the explosion’s impact was significant, with many residents losing their homes, the fact that there were no fatalities was a silver lining in an otherwise tragic incident. Surrounding residences also suffered extensive damage, as reported by

The crash, which took place around 3:00 a.m., led to the severance of the gas line entering the property. Six neighboring homes were promptly evacuated. However, after nearly three hours of unchecked gas leakage, the house erupted, sending debris flying. This forced first responders to take cover behind fire trucks.

The Incident’s Perpetrator

The Oneida police department disclosed that a minor had stolen the vehicle which crashed into the house. While specific details about the minor remain undisclosed, charges are pending. The exact motive behind the crash is yet to be ascertained.

“All utilities have been secured and there is no danger to the public, but they are asked to stay away,” stated the local authorities. Numerous residents took to Facebook, commenting that the explosion’s effects were felt several miles away. For those affected and in need of assistance, officials directed them to the Red Cross, as reported by The Oneida Daily Dispatch.

New York’s Road Safety in Question

The incident brings to light the broader issue of road safety in New York. The state’s authorities continue to emphasize a zero-tolerance policy towards speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Yet, despite the introduction of the “Vision Zero” road safety plan in 2014 by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city grapples with road accidents. This ambitious plan aimed to make the city’s streets safer for everyone – from pedestrians and cyclists to motorists, targeting zero deaths by 2024.

However, recent data from the NYPD paints a bleak picture. Cyclist fatalities have surged by 260% in the first half of 2023 alone and a staggering 325% since the inception of the Vision Zero plan. Alarmingly, in many of these accidents, the drivers responsible chose to flee the scene.