Gas explosion levels US buildings; 18 hurt

Springfield: Authorities say a natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities has destroyed two buildings but hasn't killed anyone.

They say firefighters and gas company workers are among more than a dozen injured people.

The explosion in downtown Springfield blew out all windows in a three block radius, leaving three more buildings beyond repair and prompting emergency workers to evacuate a six story apartment building that was buckling.

Officials at two nearby hospitals say 16 victims were transported with injuries, but none was critical.

Firefighters were investigating a gas leak when the blast happened shortly after 5 pm.