Owner of exploded Michigan building arrested at airport while trying to leave US, authorities say

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Owner of exploded Michigan building nabbed at airport attempting to flee, authorities report.

Owner Arrested in Connection with Fatal Detroit-Area Business Explosion

 

Owner of exploded Michigan building arrested at airport while trying to leave US, authorities say

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Noor Noel Kestou, the owner of a suburban Detroit business where a fire and explosion claimed the life of a young man, was apprehended at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as he attempted to board a flight to Hong Kong on a one-way ticket, authorities announced Friday.

 

Customs and New York Port Authority officials took Kestou into custody on Saturday, and he was returned to Michigan on Wednesday to face charges.

 

Kestou, a resident of Commerce Township, was arraigned on Thursday on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

 

The tragic incident unfolded on March 4 at a Clinton Township building housing a distributor for the vaping industry, known as Goo. The facility stored over 100,000 vape pens on-site. Investigators revealed that a shipment of butane canisters had recently arrived at the location, and over half of this supply remained in storage when the fire erupted, sending canisters flying up to 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away.

 

The explosion proved fatal for Turner Lee Salter, 19, who was struck by a nitrous oxide canister propelled through the air by the blast. Salter succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.

 

Authorities received information on April 20 indicating Kestou's intention to travel to Hong Kong.

 

“We don’t know what his ultimate goal was,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido stated. “Was it to stay out of the country with a wife and child here? Nobody has a crystal ball to determine who is a flight risk.”

 

Highlighting Kestou's status as the business owner, Lucido emphasized, “Anyone that owns a business and something like this happens has to be considered a suspect.”

 

Involuntary manslaughter is the primary charge brought against Kestou, based on available information and evidence.

 

Goo had obtained a township occupancy permit in September 2022, designating the 26,700-square-foot (2,480-square-meter) building as a retail outlet for vape-related paraphernalia, according to the Clinton Township’s Building Department.

 

Clinton Township Fire Chief Tim Duncan disclosed that investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire but suspect it originated in the southwest corner of the building.

 

Following his release from custody upon posting a $500,000 bond, Kestou is required to wear a GPS tether, and his passport has been confiscated. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for May 7 in Clinton Township District Court.


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CRN News Update - Latest Breaking News: Owner of exploded Michigan building arrested at airport while trying to leave US, authorities say
Owner of exploded Michigan building arrested at airport while trying to leave US, authorities say
Owner of exploded Michigan building nabbed at airport attempting to flee, authorities report.
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