Explosion Levels Strip Club, Injuring 21

Authorities were already responding to a gas leak

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 24, 2012 1:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Officials are investigating a gas explosion that leveled a strip club in Springfield, Mass., yesterday, injuring 21 people—11 of whom were firefighters responding to the scene, the Republican reports. Authorities had already shut down nearby businesses in response to a gas leak when the blast rocked Scores Gentlemen's Club at 5:30pm, reports the AP. The explosion damaged 42 other buildings, scattered debris for blocks, and left a hole where Scores once stood.

"It looks like an earthquake hit," said the manager of a restaurant two blocks away. "I've never seen anything like it." At least three buildings were damaged beyond repair, and first responders cleared out a six-story apartment building that was near collapse. Now inspectors are assessing other homes and buildings in the busy New England city. Amazingly, no one sustained life-threatening injuries, and all but three of the firefighters have been released from hospital.

Inspectors stand in debris, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at the site of a gas explosion that leveled a strip club in Springfield, Mass., on Friday evening.
Inspectors stand in debris, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at the site of a gas explosion that leveled a strip club in Springfield, Mass., on Friday evening.   (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
A firetruck is parked next to a damaged building after a nearby gas explosion leveled another building in downtown Springfield, Mass. on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.
A firetruck is parked next to a damaged building after a nearby gas explosion leveled another building in downtown Springfield, Mass. on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.   (AP Photo/Springfield Republican, David Molnar)
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The strip club explosion was captured live on camera.   (NBC News)

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