SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - It's the question everybody is asking: How and why did it happen? Friday night's natural gas explosion in downtown Springfield could be felt far away, and shocked people across western Massachusetts.
Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray referred to Friday night's events as a "miracle on Worthington Street," and all you have to do is take a look around the blast zone to see why: A hole in the ground is all the remains where the Scores Gentleman's Club once stood. The force of the blast was so great, that it sheared glass from windows and launched bricks blocks away.
To make matters worse, around 4:00 Saturday morning, the scary truth came to light that higher-than-normal gas readings were still beneath the streets. Columbia Gas crews drilled into the ground, used meters to find readings and opened nearly every manhole in a four block area.
A day later, it remains unclear just what caused the blast to happen in the first place.
"The gas was turned off to that building (Scores), but was the leak in the street or in the building? We are still assessing that," said Aide to the Fire Commissioner Dennis Leger.
Thomas Gazunis is the State Department of Public Safety Commissioner. He and his team did visual assessments of the damage.
"Other than the direct impact zone, the damage is limited to broken glass and windows. It's pretty amazing how relatively little damage there is," Gazunis said.
The whole situation has left many to conclude that Lady Luck, or perhaps divine intervention was on the side of the residents and the emergency responders who found themselves in the center of a disaster zone.
"There's still buildings where I work on Union Street that still haven't been repaired from the tornado, and now we have this to deal with," said Jim Talbot of West Springfield.
Investigators don't know what could have ignited the gas explosion, but Leger told 22News it doesn't take much. Even a static spark could have caused it.