The Straits Times
Published on Nov 24, 2012

Natural gas explosion levels US buildings; 18 hurt


SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (AP) - A natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities leveled a strip club and heavily damaged a dozen other buildings but did not kill anyone, authorities said.

Firefighters, police officers and gas company workers in the area investigating an earlier gas leak report were among the 18 people injured in Friday's blast, authorities said. The leak report caused the strip club to be evacuated before the blast occurred.

"This is a miracle ... that no one was killed," Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray said at a press conference.

The explosion blew out all windows in a three-block radius, leaving three more buildings beyond repair and prompting emergency workers to evacuate a six-story apartment building that was buckling.