911 calls released in deadly Ballantyne home explosion

Fire officials have released the 911 calls made after a house exploded in Ballantyne on July 2. A nearly one hour call from inside the home came from Jebran Karam. He and his wife had just returned from vacation when the house exploded. His wife was killed in the blast.

The Karam family requested that the 911 audio from inside the home not air. Several other Charlotte television stations ignored that request, but we at FOX 46 chose to make the compassionate decision and honor the family's wish. FOX 46 has portions of the transcript from the call which the family says are allowed to be published.

The call starts with Mr. Karam saying  "Yes I am trapped in the house and I don't know what happened to my wife. I think I'm bleeding and I can't hear her. I'm calling her and I can't hear her.”
The operator says, “Yes sir, we already have fire trucks dispatched out that way. Okay?  What happened?  Sir can you hear me?”
Mr. Karam says “I can hear you barely.” The operator says “Okay”.

Later on in the call Mr. Karam goes on to explain what happened. He says “We were downstairs because we smelled something wrong and she went down -- and I went to follow her and all of the sudden I heard an explosion that threw me away --- and then the stairs all came on me.”

Later on the operator is trying to learn more about how he is trapped. Mr. Karam says he's trapped by wood --- a lot of wood and a lot of sheet rock. The operators asks, “If it's your legs, your arms, your neck, your torso, what is trapped?”

Mr. Karam says, “My head is fine --- my back is trapped and my right foot. I cannot move.”

Investigators say the explosion was accidental. An investigation is still ongoing by the insurance company to figure out how natural gas accumulated inside the house.