Detroit-area man charged with manslaughter in fatal building explosion

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit businessman was charged with involuntary manslaughter Thursday in connection with an explosion at a building he owned in which a nitrous oxide cannister propelled through the air, striking and killing another man.

Noor Noel Kestou, 31, of Commerce Township, was charged in connection with the March 4 explosion that killed 19-year-old Turner Lee Salter about a quarter of a mile (0.40 kilometers) away. Kestou's bond was set at $500,000 cash/surety only.

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for May 7 in Clinton Township District Court.

The explosion occurred in a building housing a distributor for the vaping industry called Goo, which had more than 100,000 vape pens stored on-site. Authorities have said a truckload of butane canisters had arrived at the building within a week of the explosion that sent cannisters soaring up to 2 miles (3.2 kilometers), and more than half of that stock was still there when the fire began.

Goo had received a township occupancy permit in September 2022 for the 26,700-square-foot (2,480-square-meter) building as a retail location for a “smoke shop/vape store” that would sell paraphernalia for vape products, Clinton Township’s Building Department has said.

Kestou’s attorney, James Thomas, said he had no comment on the case.

Authorities scheduled a Friday morning news conference to discuss the case.