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9 officers hurt in blast in Connecticut standoff, 1 body found

Updated May 3, 2018 - 6:39 am

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. — A body was found in a Connecticut building after an explosion during a standoff with a man who had taken his wife hostage, officials said Thursday.

State Police Trooper Kelly Grant said that nine officers were 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 Thursday morning.

Grant did not release a name during a Thursday news conference, saying an autopsy was scheduled to positively identify the body. But there was no one in custody.

Kelly said that a woman had called police to report domestic violence before the explosion at a barn behind the home 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,” Freda 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.”

All nine officers remained hospitalized Thursday. They were members of the regional tactical team, and included five from East Haven, three from North Haven, and one from Branford.

Firefighters on Thursday continued 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 also were heard.

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 from the scene. 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.”

State police said they were assisting North Haven police with the investigation. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the scene.

North Haven is located just outside of New Haven, home to Yale University.

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