SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Eighteen people are recovering after a massive explosion Friday night at 453 Worthington Street.
Nine Springfield Firefighters and two Springfield Police Officers were among those hurt in the blast. Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant said that the injuries to the firefighters were more serious than originally reported, with two firefighters suffering burns to the face and head, and others with ankle, knee, and elbow injuries. Still, all are expected to recover and all the firefighters have ben released from the hospital.
In addition to the emergency personnel hurt, we also know that four Columbus Gas Company workers and two civilians were injured in the explosion. They are expected to be okay as well.
"It's a miracle no one died," said Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, who referred to Friday night's events as a "miracle on Worthington Street."
Sheila Doiron, Communications Director at Columbus Gas Company, told 22News that when the crew arrived to a reported gas leak in the area shortly after 4:20, they immediately called for back-up. The explosion, which destroyed the SCORES Gentlemen's Club and badly damaged other nearby buildings, happened after 5:00.
Due to the widespread damage in the area, Mayor Domenic Sarno has said everyone should stay away from the Entertainment District. He said that the popular nightlife area will remain shut down for as long as it needs to be, though many businesses in the downtown area not far from the blast will indeed be open for business again on Monday. In the meantime, an anti-looting patrol is in place, and Sarno is telling would-be gawkers to stay away.
They are hoping to soon shrink the perimeter that they have set up, which runs from Lyman Street to Spring Street to Pearl Street to Chestnut Street.
One building was leveled and 12 other buildings were heavily damaged in the explosion. The McIntosh Building, a 40-unit loft condo complex, was one of those heavily damaged residential buildings.
Sarno said that the City will launch a complete investigation into what caused the explosion.