Woman Killed, Man Survives After Explosion Of Ballantyne Home


CHARLOTTE, N.C.- Inspectors will return Wednesday morning to a home in Ballantyne, trying to figure out what caused an explosion that killed a woman and seriously injured a man.

The home was reduced to rubble after the exploding Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Jebran Karam, who is one of the owners of the home, was in the emergency room Tuesday night after being pulled from the pile of debris, the CEO of Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia told Channel 9 reporter Joe Bruno.

Karam was flown to a hospital with serious injuries. Firefighters said he was conscious and alert after the explosion and was able to call 911 to help rescue crews find him.

Karam is a prominent cardiologist in West Virginia. The CEO of the hospital where he works said Karam is a tremendous cardiologist, physician and advocate for his patients. Karam and his wife purchased the home in Ballantyne in 2015.

A woman's body was recovered from the debris around 9 p.m. Tuesday, officials said. Police identified her as 58-year-old Rania Karam.

Officials said they began receiving numerous 911 calls about the explosion and fire just before 2 p.m., including one from Karam, who was trapped inside the house. 

Firefighters got to the home along James Jack Lane off Ballantyne Commons Parkway within six minutes.

The cause of the explosion is unclear as the investigation continues, and officials with Piedmont Natural Gas and the Charlotte Fire Department said there is no timeline for when they will be able to determine exactly what happened.

The home was 6,300 square feet and worth more than $1.2 million, according to the county's property appraisal.

Check WSOC for updates on this developing story.

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