ADVERTISEMENT

November 23, 2012

Gas company workers stand where a building once stood, which was leveled by an explosion in downtown Springfield, Mass. on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Springfield Republican, Don Treeger)

Mass. gas explosion razes buildings, injures 16

The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities on Friday destroyed two buildings, including one housing a strip club, and damaged others beyond repair but didn't kill anyone, authorities said.

"This is a miracle on Worthington Street that no one was killed," Lt. Gov. Tim Murray said at a press conference.

Firefighters, police officers and gas company workers in the area because of an earlier gas leak were among more than a dozen injured people, authorities said.

The explosion in a downtown area of Springfield, 90 miles west of Boston, blew out all windows in a three-block radius, leaving three more buildings irreparably damaged and prompting emergency workers to evacuate a six-story apartment building that was buckling.

Police Sgt. John Delaney marveled at the destruction at the blast's epicenter, where a multistory building was leveled.

"It looks like there was a missile strike here," he said.

Officials at two nearby hospitals said a total of 16 victims were transported with injuries but none was critical.

Firefighters responded to the scene at 4:20 p.m. and were investigating the gas leak when the blast happened shortly after 5 p.m. The cause of the explosion hadn't been identified but was under investigation, they said.

Springfield, which has about 150,000 residents, is the largest city in western Massachusetts. It's known as the home of the Basketball Hall of Fame, which is not in the vicinity of the blast.

The explosion, in an area of downtown Springfield with commercial properties and residences, destroyed a building that housed a Scores Gentlemen's Club.

Area resident Wayne Davis said he felt his apartment building shake a block away.

"I was laying down in bed, and I started feeling the building shaking and creaking," he said.

The Navy veteran said the boom from the explosion was louder than anything he'd ever heard, including the sound of a jet landing on an aircraft carrier.

The blast was so loud it was heard for miles around. Video from WWLP-TV showed the moment of the explosion, with smoke billowing into the air above the neighborhood.



An injured firefighter is wheeled from the scene after a building was leveled by an explosion in downtown Springfield, Mass. on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Springfield Republican, Don Treeger)



Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


  • Back to News

Sports
Politics
Business
Opinion
Life & Culture
People

© 2014 The Portland Press Herald - All Rights Reserved.
MaineToday Media
One City Center, 5th floor, Portland, ME 04101-5009
(207) 791-6650
contact@pressherald.com