US natural gas explosion damages 42 buildings
Springfield: Preliminary investigations show more than 40 buildings were damaged in a natural gas explosion in western Massachusetts that injured 18 people, building inspectors said.
A strip club was flattened and a day care centre was heavily damaged in the massive explosion on Friday night in Springfield, one of the biggest cities in the northeastern New England states.
No one was killed in the explosion.
Investigators were trying yesterday to figure out what caused the blast that could be heard for kilometres, left a large hole in the ground where the multistory brick building housing Scores Gentleman`s Club once stood and scattered debris over several blocks.
Officials had already evacuated part of the entertainment district after responding to a gas leak and odour reported about an hour before the explosion.
Gas workers venting a gas leak got indications that the building was about to explode and they ducked for cover behind a utility truck along with firefighters and police officers just before the blast, said Mark McDonald, president of the New England Gas Workers Association.
Most of the injured were in that group, and the truck that saved their lives was essentially demolished, he said.
"It really is a miracle and it`s an example of our public safety officials, each and every day, putting themselves in harm`s way, taking what could have been considered a very routine call of an odour of gas, but they took the proper precautions," State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said.
"And thanks to God that they did."
Officials also marvelled how the 5:30 pm blast occurred when a day care centre next door was closed. The centre`s building was heavily damaged.
Lt Gov Tim Murray and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno were attending a tree lighting ceremony when the explosion occurred. Sarno said some people mistakenly thought the boom was part of the holiday event.
The explosion blew out windows in a three block radius, leaving at least three buildings irreparably damaged and causing emergency workers to evacuate a six story apartment building that was buckling, police said. Pieces of broken glass littered streets and sidewalks. It was unclear how many residents had been evacuated.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- See what can Maggi do to your health!
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Fiji: Floating island restaurant in middle of ocean
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey