July 7 (UPI) — Investigators on Sunday searched for the cause of an explosion at a South Florida shopping center that injured nearly two dozen people.
Authorities initially believed the explosion in the city of Plantation on Saturday was caused by a gas leak from a closed PizzaFire restaurant, but a spokeswoman for Teco Peoples Gas said technicians immediately responded to the scene and found no natural gas leaks.
“We don’t know for sure,” Plantation Fire Rescue spokesman Deputy Chief Joel Gordon said. “We haven’t confirmed the source of the explosion.”
Plantation Mayor Lynn Stoner toured the area on Sunday and said the pizza chain, which had been closed for several months, was likely where the blast originated.
“The City of Plantation extends its thoughts and prayers to all of those individuals impacted by this incident,” said Stoner. “The City is also eternally grateful for the outstanding support we received from local, state, and federal authorities.”
The blast occurred at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, sending chunks of concrete and other debris flying through the air and leaving 23 people injured.
Nineteen people were transported to local hospitals, including one child. No one died as a result of the blast and none of the injuries were considered life-threatening.
“We’re very much relieved that, considering the debris field and considering how we found the patients and where we found them, the injuries are not as severe as we would have thought they would be,” said Gordon.