GAS EXPLOSION AT A FLORIDA SHOPPING CENTER INJURES 21 PEOPLE

GAS EXPLOSION AT A FLORIDA SHOPPING CENTER INJURES 21 PEOPLE

A vacant pizza restaurant exploded Saturday at a South Florida shopping plaza, injuring more than 20 people.

The blast flung debris widely along a busy road in Plantation, west of Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant was destroyed, and nearby businesses and cars were damaged. Though firefighters found ruptured gas lines afterward, authorities said it was too early to determine a cause.

“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 Alex Carver, a worket at a deli across the street from the explosion.

The explosion threw large pieces of concrete up to 50 yards (45 meters) away and sent pieces of metal scattering as far as 100 yards (90 meters) across the street. Carver said two of his co-workers’ cars were destroyed.  At least 21 people were injured though none of the injuries was life-threatening, Police Sgt. Jesica Ryan said.

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