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Massive Explosion Rocks South Florida Shopping Mall, Leaving Over 20 Injured


An apparent natural gas explosion ripped through a busy Plantation, Florida strip mall on Saturday morning, leaving more than 20 people injured.

Violent Blast Destroyed Vacant Pizza Shop, Damaged 20 Businesses

Multiple Broward County emergency departments responded to Market on University, a shopping plaza along Southwest 10th Street and South University Drive, shortly before 11:30 a.m. on July 6th.

They arrived on scene to find a vacant pizza shop destroyed and at least 20 neighboring businesses damaged. The violent explosion hurled concrete and metal debris up to 100 years, and even triggered airbag deployments in several stationary vehicles.

“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,” one witness told the Associated Press. “It was nuts, man. It was crazy.”

Child, 22 Others Hurt in Florida Shopping Mall Explosion

The Florida shopping mall explosion injured at least 23 people.

Paramedics rushed two victims to Broward Health Medical Center, including one person listed as a Level 1 Trauma. A child was reportedly among 19 people taken to either Westside Regional Medical Center or Plantation General Hospital.

Fortunately, none of the injuries turned out to be life-threatening.

“We’re relieved that considering the debris field and considering how we found the patients and where we found them, the injuries are not as severe as we would’ve thought they would be. So, we’re very thankful for that,” Plantation Fire Deputy Chief Joel Gordon said during a Saturday afternoon press conference.

Just one man remains hospitalized, but his condition has improved from critical to stable since Saturday.

Ruptured Natural Gas Line Found Under Pizza Shop Rubble

The FBI and the Miami office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are investigating the Florida shopping mall explosion, along with various state and local agencies.

Fire crews apparently discovered the ruptured gas line beneath the rubble of the pizza shop. Earlier today, Teco Peoples Gas also confirmed receiving a call about a possible natural gas leak moments before Saturday’s explosion.

While authorities consider the damaged pipeline a prime suspect, it’s still too early to draw any definitive conclusions.

“The assumption is, and everybody looks at it and says, ‘Oh, it must be gas,’” Gordon said. “But we can’t confirm that until we actually dig down and find the source.”

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