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.