A firefighter walks through the remains of a building after an explosion on Saturday, July 6, 2019, in Plantation, Fla. Several people were injured after a vacant pizza restaurant exploded in the South Florida shopping plaza Saturday, according to police. The restaurant was destroyed, and nearby businesses were damaged. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Explosion at Florida shopping plaza injures 20, two seriously

The explosion demolished the building, leaving behind only part of its metal frame

Twenty people were injured after a vacant pizza restaurant exploded in a South Florida shopping plaza Saturday, according to police.

The blast sent debris flying along a busy road in Plantation, west of Fort Lauderdale in Broward County. The restaurant was destroyed, and nearby businesses were damaged.

“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, who works at a deli across the street from the explosion. “It was nuts, man. It was crazy.”

The Plantation fire department called it a gas explosion. The blast scattered large pieces of concrete as far as 50 yards (46 metres) away and sent pieces of metal as far as 100 yards (91 metres) across the street. Carver said two of his co-workers’ cars were destroyed.

The explosion demolished the building, leaving behind only part of its metal frame. It blew out the windows of a popular fitness club next door.

Dozens of firefighters responded and could be seen picking through the rubble with dogs sniffing through the debris. There were no known fatalities immediately after the explosion, said police officer Chavez Grant. Of the 20 injured, two were seriously hurt.

The Plantation fire and police departments said on Twitter that the street was closed to traffic. The fire department called it a gas explosion with “multiple patients.”

Terry Spencer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

City of Victoria accepts $1 million cheque from seniors home developer

Milliken Development put forward the cash to the Housing Reserve Fund

Technical difficulties delay Victoria’s $500,000 Christmas light village

The Lights of Wonder display was originally set to open on Dec. 13

Saanich-based pharmaceutical company stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Nighttime closures begin on Bay Street Bridge Dec. 9

The final phase of construction will see the removal of scaffolding from the site

Man allegedly behind Greater Victoria restaurant thefts arrested

Jason Perry is expected in court on Dec. 10

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Six B.C. municipalities accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon-pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, Richmond, Nelson and Rossland have intervener status

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read