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Frightening Natural Gas Explosion Injures 18 People & Damages Dozens of Buildings (VIDEO)

by Maressa Brown on November 24, 2012 at 8:32 AM

explosion springfield, massWhile Black Friday chaos was breaking out in countless retail stores last night, the entertainment district in one of New England's biggest cities, Springfield, Massachusetts, faced a different kind of nightmare: A natural gas explosion leveled a strip club and heavily damaged a dozen other buildings, including a day care. The blast, which could be heard for miles and left a large hole in the ground where the strip club once stood and debris scattered over a three-block radius, injured eighteen people, many of them first responders.

Generally, when we hear about a disaster like this -- especially when there are injuries -- the last thing any of us really think about is what a "miracle" it was! But in this case, that's what officials are saying, because it actually could have turned out a lot worse ...

Because a gas leak and odor that had been reported an hour before the explosion, part of the entertainment district had already been evacuated. Believe it or not, it turns out that the timing of the blast -- at 5:30 p.m. -- was also quite fortunate, because the day care was closed. And some firefighters, police officers and gas company workers did end up in harm's way, it's heartening to be able to say the proper precautions were taken to protect people in the neighborhood.

Dr. Matthew Levy, an emergency services and disaster response expert at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explains:

Every day emergency services respond to calls for burning smells and gas leaks -- calls that we sometimes classify as good intent calls -- and majority go on to be nothing. But all have to be treated seriously. The responders gave this event the proper degree of credibility it required and had they not done what they did, things could have been a lot worse.

What's more, it sounds like the State Fire Marshal and state's Department of Public Utilities are taking action to learn even more from this unfortunate event, to guard against something similar happening in the future. Both have opened investigations into the cause of the blast, as well as the possible origin. Plus, the Columbia Gas of Massachusetts company said they will continue to monitor for any potential leaks within several blocks of the blast site. Thank goodness! Because clearly, when it comes to an incident like this, it never hurts to be over-prepared.

Are you impressed with the emergency response to this incident?

 

 

Image via WWLP.com

Filed Under: in the news

Comments

5
  • ruby_...
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    ruby_jewel_04

    November 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM
    It's sad that this happened, and that people were injured. But am I the only one wondering why a day care was so close to a strip club? Lol. IDK if that's the day care I'd choose to send my kids to.
  • Sarah...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

    November 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    I'm so glad there were no fatalities! The first responders did a fabulous job dealing with this situation from articles that I've read.  @ Ruby, I too thought it was an odd choice to place a daycare. I am by no means a prude but when it comes to the type of environment my kids are in or near, I take it very seriously.It's also not the strippers I'd have a problem with either as I'm sure they come to and leave work fully clothed.I would just explain (if my kids are old enough to notice or ask) that this is the job these gals chose and we shouldn't judge them...but rather,I wouldn't take my kids to a daycare so close to the strip club where we could have to deal with horny/drunk patrons even if it IS just from the parking spot to the door. On the other hand, perhaps there aren't many options and the daycare by the stripclub IS the best choice for people in the area. Just for me personally, IF I did have  a choice, I would choose the daycare that's NOT by the strip club!! Lol.


  • Cassa...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Cassandra Huber

    November 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    @ruby_jewel_04 I was thinking the same thing. Sad really.


  • Cassa...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Cassandra Huber

    November 24, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    With a daycare being so close to a strip club, it's not just the horny, drunk, nude people that you would have to worry about. There is a lot of voilence in those types of establishments, towards the young girls who strip there mostly, and heavy drug use/dealing, and not to mention prostitution. It's a breeding ground for violent crime, and no good parent would want their child to be anywhere near this type of establishment if they can help it.


  • Deweymom
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    Deweymom

    November 25, 2012 at 1:17 AM
    Downtown Springfield is actually kinda sketchy...especially Worthington St (where this happened).
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