UPDATE: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Authorities in western Massachusetts have resumed an investigation of a natural gas explosion that damaged 42 buildings and injured 18 people.
Investigators and cleanup crews on Sunday returned to the blast area in Springfield, one of New England's biggest cities. The cause of the blast is under investigation. Police say the mayor will meet with investigators Sunday.
Friday night's explosion flattened a strip club and heavily damaged a day care center. It happened after officials evacuated part of the entertainment district because of reports of a gas leak and odor.
Most of the injured were part of a group of gas workers, firefighters and police officers who ducked for cover behind a utility truck just before the blast.
The explosion blew out windows and scattered debris over several blocks.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Inspectors today began picking over the rubble left when a natural gas explosion rocked Springfield, Mass., leveling a strip club and blowing out windows in a three-block radius, leaving several businesses damaged beyond repair.
Firefighters, police officers and gas company workers were already on the scene Friday investigating a report of a gas leak at a multi-story building housing a Scores Gentleman’s Club when the explosion ripped through the area. They were among the 18 people injured in the blast, authorities said. None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.
“Really, this is a miracle on Worthington Street that no one was killed,” Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray said Friday.
The explosion happened in an area of downtown Springfield where there are businesses and residences.
Tenants in the area have been evacuated and are staying in shelters until officials deem the area safe.
“My back bedroom and kitchen windows were blown completely out and it blew me across the room. I got up off the floor and we ran out of the house,” said Tricia Burns, a Springfield resident.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
An official from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts told The Associated Press there were no signs of additional leaks in the area, however employees would be closely monitoring the area over the next two days.