NORTH HAVEN, Conn. >> A barn behind a house in Connecticut exploded tonight while police and a SWAT team were negotiating with a man who had taken his wife and family hostage, leaving at least six officers injured, state police and a town official said.
North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda said the officers were taken to a hospital, but that none had suffered life-threatening injuries in the explosion at a barn at the home around 8:30 p.m.
“This started late this afternoon with what was apparently a very violent domestic call,” Freda told WTIC-TV. 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.”
He said that the officers suffered cuts, abrasions and bruises. They were taken to Yale New Haven hospital, but their exact condition and that of the suspect and his family wasn’t immediately known.
Residents near the home said on the police department’s Facebook page that they heard the explosion and felt their own homes shake around 8:30 p.m. Additional police rushed to the scene as the fire raged, and sounds of smaller explosions also were heard.
“I felt my house shake. It felt like a bomb went off in my attic,” David DiMartino, who lives nearby, told the New Haven Register.
Police did not immediately release any details about why they were there, but issued road closures and asked that people to avoid the area.
Firefighters worked to get the blaze under control more than an hour later.
State police said they were assisting North Haven police with the investigation.
North Haven is located just outside of New Haven, home to Yale University. It’s 27 miles south of Hartford, Connecticut’s capital.