Blast 'like a missile strike'

Blast wipes out Springfield strip club.

A natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities destroyed several buildings but didn't kill anyone, authorities said.

Firefighters and gas company workers were among more than a dozen people injured in the explosion in downtown Springfield, a town whose name was made famous by the popular cartoon series The Simpsons.

It looked as though there had been "a missile strike", police sergeant John Delaney said.

"It's a miracle nobody was killed," Delaney said.

The explosion blew out all windows in a three-block radius, levelling a strip club and leaving up to dozen buildings beyond repair.

Emergency workers also evacuated a six-storey apartment building that was buckling.

Officials at two nearby hospitals said 16 victims were transported with injuries, but none was critical.

Firefighters were investigating a gas leak when the blast happened shortly after 5pm.

The cause of the explosion in the Massachusetts town had not been identified.

Resident Wayne Davis said he felt his apartment building shake a block away.

The Navy veteran said the boom was louder than anything he'd ever heard, including the sound of a jet landing on an aircraft carrier.

- AP

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 21 Sep 2014 09:05:14 Processing Time: 539ms