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Former Penn Hills Football Player Killed in Building Explosion

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A former Penn Hills High School football player was killed Tuesday in a building explosion in Youngstown, Ohio.

The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office identified Akil Drake, 27, as the lone causality of a currently unidentified explosion at the Realty Building on East Federal St. in Youngstown Wednesday.

Drake was an employee at the Chase Bank in the building. The explosion resulted in seven hospitalizations, according to a report by Chris Hoffman, Jennifer Borrasso and Patrick Damp of KDKA News.

The Penn Hills School District released a statement to KDKA in the wake of Drake’s tragic passing:

“Earlier today, the Penn Hills administration learned that one of our former students, Akil Drake, tragically lost his life in an explosion in Youngstown, Ohio. Akil was a 2015 Penn Hills graduate and a student athlete who excelled on the football field. The Penn Hills School District extends its deepest sympathies to Akil’s family as well as the other individuals impacted by this tragic explosion. Akil will be missed by all.”

Drake played football at Penn Hills, graduating in 2015 and attending Youngstown State. He didn’t play football at YSU, but according to KDKA, he worked with the team. He helped with shooting, editing and producing football film study before graduating with a degree in finance in 2019.

KDKA shared a comment from former Penn Hills coach John Peterman, about the impact that Drake made during his time at Penn Hills.

“Whether it was at football practice, in school, in the hallways, he was always in a happy mood,” Peterman said.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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