Explosion at Plantation, Florida, shopping center leaves 21 people injured: ‘It just looks like an apocalypse’

ABC News

Police and fire crews are looking for answers after an explosion at a shopping center in Florida, officials said Saturday.

Twenty-one people were injured, including two seriously, in the blast in Plantation, just outside of Fort Lauderdale, said Joel Gordon, Battalion Chief for Plantation Fire. 

Video shows windows blown out of an LA Fitness while a building next door appeared completely destroyed, with debris strewn in all directions.

The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time.

Ruptured gas lines were found in the rubble but it has not been confirmed if the explosion was caused by a gas leak, officials said.

The gas leaking from the ruptured lines has since been stopped, officials said.

The origin of the blast, which went off just before 11:30 a.m. local time, is also not known.

No one was killed in the explosion, police said.

Thirteen people have gone to the Westside Regional Medical Center emergency room, a hospital official told ABC News. Broward Health Medical Center officials said they have two patients in fair condition: one in the trauma center and the other in the pediatric emergency room.

“This could have been a lot worse,” Gordon told reporters.

Guillermo Villa was across the street about to charge his Tesla SUV when he heard the blast go off.

Villa said he saw light and then a cloud of debris before “I started seeing pieces of the building falling on my head.”

“I went underneath my car because there was so much debris flying,” he told ABC News. “It was like raining pieces of roof, wall, bricks.”

That’s when he saw people running and shouting.

“I was afraid,” Villa said. “I thought it was a terrorist attack at the beginning.”

But Villa said he’s grateful he escaped without a scratch.

“It was so close … I am blessed,” he said. “I cannot believe nothing happened to me.”

One witness told ABC Miami affiliate WPLG that a huge flash of light “lit up the whole sky.”

“It was loud,” the witness said. “This surpassed fireworks … your ears were ringing.

“It just looks like an apocalypse,” she added.

All businesses in the area are shut down until fire crews deem it safe to return, Plantation police said.

Rescue crews and dogs searched the rubble and did not find any trapped victims, officials said.

See the pics here: https://abcnews.go.com/US/explosion-plantation-florida-shopping-center-multiple-patients-officials/story?id=64166854

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7 Responses to Explosion at Plantation, Florida, shopping center leaves 21 people injured: ‘It just looks like an apocalypse’

  1. Bluwater says:

    If you have family and friends who refuse to believe the Boston ‘Bombing’ was fake, I suggest you show them what the damage from a real explosion looks like.

  2. c walker says:

    we will never know

  3. Katie says:

    Plantation FL,is in Broward County where the D. Hog school “shooting” happened.

    Broward County, largest Jewish community in Florida.

    https://www.sun-sentinel.com/florida-jewish-journal/news/broward/fl-jjbs-demography-1123-20161121-story.html

  4. H D says:

    So no body could smell rotten egg smell they add to natural gas . Come on people … it was not a leak . Again why would gas be on in Florida mall that was not full of open stores . Gas would be for cooking are heating again I don’t think they would be heating a mall in Florida

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