Florida Explosion: At Least 23 Injured After Gas Explosion at Plantation Shopping Center
At least 23 people have been injured in an explosion at a shopping center in Plantation, Florida, on July 6, officials say.
Video shows windows blown out of an LA Fitness while a building next door appeared completely destroyed, with debris strewn in all directions.
No one was killed in the explosion, police said.
Thirteen people have gone to the Westside Regional Medical Center emergency room, ABC News reported. Broward Health Medical Center officials said they have two patients in fair condition: one in the trauma center and the other in the pediatric emergency room.
Joel Gordon, Battalion Chief for Plantation Fire, told reporters: “This could have been a lot worse.”
As of a 1:30 p.m. press conference, no deaths were reported.
“At this point, nobody was killed. Thank goodness for that. As bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse,” said Joel Gordon.
The vacant pizza restaurant where the explosion occurred was completely destroyed and an LA Fitness nearby sustained heavy damage caused by the blast, with debris and glass filling the nearby parking lot.
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Fire departments from Plantation, Davie, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, as well as Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue have all been called to the scene.
Footage from inside the fitness center showed crowds hurrying out of the building, some limping and in shock, while its front windows were nearly blown out front the massive blast.
Plantation Fire tweeted that the explosion occurred along the 800 block of South University Drive on Saturday and police have closed the road. Motorists are advised to avoid the area.
Plantation police tweeted: “All stores and businesses in the area of the Fountains Plaza and the Plantation Marketplace plaza near LA Fitness will be shut down until further notice until Fire Personnel can determine that it is safe to return. Please do not come into this area if possible.”
Firefighters with dogs were seen going through the rubble to determine if anyone was still underneath.
According to police, a family and business reunification center has been set up at Plantation Central Park, 9151 NW 2nd Street.