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North Bend Explosion: Natural Gas Blast Destroys 3 Buildings

By Michael Mullins   |   Friday, 25 Apr 2014 11:49 AM

A North Bend explosion early Friday morning has destroyed three buildings while causing significant damage to several others in the town in Washington state. Two people were treated for minor injuries from broken glass and scattered debris.

According to CBS affiliate KiroTV.com, local residents claimed to have heard the explosion at approximately 3:45 a.m. The blast subsequently triggered a fire that spread through a nearby area strip mall that housed a barber shop, dance studio, pizzeria and gas station.

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The natural gas explosion reportedly left 200 people without power and created a debris field that spread for several blocks, with wreckage hanging about on surrounding power lines as illustrated by the photo below. What exactly triggered the natural gas explosion was not reported.

Eastside fire spokesman Josie Williams told KiroTV that the natural gas was contained and the power was shutoff as a precaution.

The explosion took place one block from North Bend's Red Oaks Senior Assisted Living Center, where 88-year-old Lois Nichols said she was in bed when she heard a loud "boom."

"When I woke up, the bedroom window had broken. Pieces of glass were on my bed. My pictures had fallen off the wall," Nichols told KREM.com.

Fire fighters reportedly checked in on the seniors who had gathered in the facility's hallway until they were given the all clear by first responders.

Linda Crosson, who lives 5 miles away from the blast, told KiroTV that she initially believed it was a natural disaster.

"There was a big boom and I thought it was an earthquake, Crosson said. "I called 911 and they said ‘we just got a report that a gas station exploded.'" Despite the initial report, the station’s gasoline tanks did not appear to be affected.

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