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“Looks Like Apocalypse”: Gas Explosion Rips Out Chunk Of Florida Mall, Dozens Injured

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Emergency responders are combing through rubble looking for possible trapped victims after a massive blast reduced a chunk of a large shopping center to rubble on Saturday at "The Fountains" in Plantation, just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It''s being reported that "multiple patients" are filling up local hospitals after what's believed to have been a gas explosion, according to early reports. 

"There was a huge flash of light … it lit up the whole sky," one witness told a local ABC affiliate. "And it was loud … this surpassed fireworks … your ears were ringing." The eyewitness added:

"It just looks like an apocalypse."

Image source: WLPG


 

The cause of the blast is as yet unknown, but early reports strongly suggest a ruptured gas line may have been the cause of the blast. Local police and firefighter officials have told ABC that while initially unconfirmed, "ruptured gas lines were found in the rubble".

Via ABC/WLPG: First responders at the scene of an explosion at The Fountains shopping mall in Plantation, Fla., July 6, 2019.


 

CNN later confirmed in a follow-up report that "a gas explosion shattered parts of a shopping mall in the South Florida city…".

A police statement said, "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."

Fire officials indicated that about to 15 to 20 people were injured, including two seriously, however, the casualty count is expected to rise as first responders comb the scene. 

Image source: WLPG


 

Social media users documented the aftermath of the carnage as confusion gripped the area. Police quickly began evacuating the area while searching for survivors and injured among the rubble. 

"The whole building blew up," one man is heard saying in a social media video cited by CNN.

Some who were passing by at the time of the blast were injured by flying debris, including on person at a Tesla charging station seen in some of the images of the blast's aftermath. 

Chaos ensued at a neighboring LA Fitness as patrons rushed out in shock and confusion.

Shoppers in the vicinity of the complex described feeling the surrounding buildings shake during the violent blast.  

One passerby captured the large debris cloud that formed immediately over the blast site and posted it to Instagram (via Yahoo News).

…developing


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