Apparent Gas Explosion at Florida Mall Injures at Least 21

There was chaos and devastation at mall in the South Florida city of Plantation Saturday after a strong explosion shattered parts of a shopping complex At least 21 people were injured, two of whom were described as being in serious condition, after what appeared to be a gas explosion blew out windows and sent debris flying The blast appears to have taken place at a vacant pizza restaurant that was going through renovations, although that has yet to be confirmed by authorities The restaurant appears to have been destroyed and while several businesses were damaged, the nearby LA Fitness was reportedly the most affected “The vacant shop being remodeled was the one that exploded,” a witness said. “The only thing that was left was some of the framework It exploded both ways, it went north, south and to the west. It blew the windows out at LA fitness and it collapsed the roof ” For many though, the damage seemed much more extensive. “We thought it was thunder at first, and then we felt the building shake and things started falling I looked outside and it was almost like the world was ending,” said a man who works at a deli across the street from the explosion “It was nuts, man. It was crazy.” Considering all the debris that flew out of nearby stores following the blast, officials celebrated that there had been no fatalities, at least so far “Thank goodness, at this point, nobody was killed,” said Plantation Fire Deputy Chief Joel Gordon “As bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse.” Rescue teams were searching through the rubble with dogs but officials said they were confident they found everyone “It was like a war zone,” a witness said. “I’ve seen buildings blow up in the past but I’ve never seen it like this it was just so much debris. The sheet metal was twisted. There was a lot of energy behind that explosion ”

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