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

Chris Wilkinson column: Where are you on the Happiness U-Curve?

With age and maturity, the focus turns away from social competition and toward social connection.

Drivesmart column: Wet weather driving dos and don’ts

Wet pavement alone can increase stopping distances by more than 10 per cent.

Guest column: Why “Weir” Ready: with James Buchan

This is part two of a feature series by the Cowichan Watershed Board

Robert Barron column: Where are the fringe candidates?

Make this election more interesting and informative for everybody

Somenos Marsh viewing tower near completion

October a busy month for the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read