Fire officials inspect the affected area after an explosion at the Fountains shopping mall in Plantation, Florida on Saturday.
Fire officials inspect the affected area after an explosion at the Fountains shopping mall in Plantation, Florida on Saturday.

21 injured in Florida mall explosion

ANI | Updated: Jul 07, 2019 04:52 IST

Florida [USA], Jul 7 (ANI): At least 21 people sustained injuries after an explosion at a shopping plaza in the southern Florida city of Plantation, authorities said on Saturday.
All the injured, including a child, have been rushed to a nearby hospital and are out of danger.
Authorities are suspecting that a gas leak could be the reason for the explosion at the 'Fountains' shopping mall and fire officials are carrying out an investigation to ascertain the cause of the blast, CNN reported.
The explosion caused widespread damage to the mall with windows shattered and the access road to the retail centre was covered in debris.
"We are relieved that considering the debris field and considering how we found the patients and where we found them, the injuries are not as severe as we would have thought they would be. So we are very thankful for that," Plantation Fire Deputy Chief Joel Gordon told reporters.
Firefighters responded to a report of an explosion in the area at around 11:30 am (local time) and the blast appeared to have taken place in a corner of the shopping mall complex where two buildings intersect, according to Gordon.
"There is a closed pizza place right on the corner but we have not confirmed it originated there," he said.
Gordon said that gas lines had to be secured to avert any further damage before fire officials could rescue the injured.
"We had ruptured gas lines. We did have an active gas leak when we arrived, (but) they were able to secure it. At this point, we have not actually confirmed that it was an explosion due to gas," he further said.
The shopping mall is situated 30 miles north of Miami and comprises several eating joints and an LA Fitness gym.
The nature of the explosion was so strong that people living near the shopping mall felt a strong shake in their houses.
Meanwhile, the Plantation Police tweeted: "All stores and businesses in the area of the Fountains Plaza and the Plantation Marketplace plaza near LA Fitness will be shut down until further notice until Fire Personnel can determine that it is safe to return. Please do not come into this area if possible." (ANI)

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