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Seattle Explosion: 9 Firefighters Injured as Gas Blast Rips Through Neighborhood

Image: Seattle Explosion: 9 Firefighters Injured as Gas Blast Rips Through Neighborhood
Firefighters move a hose into position as flames burn in the rubble left from an early morning explosion Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

By    |   Wednesday, 09 Mar 2016 11:47 AM

A Seattle explosion, the apparent result of a natural gas leak, injured nine firefighters and heavily damaged several buildings in the city's Greenwood neighborhood early Wednesday.

Authorities said that a gas leak was reported in the area at 1:04 a.m. with an explosion ripping through some 39 minutes later. Firefighters were treated at Harborview Medical Center for minor injuries, KING 5 News reported.

"The windows are blown out for half a block on all sides," one neighbor told the television station. "So it was a huge explosion. It was extremely loud. It was out of control. It was the craziest thing I've ever seen."

Erica Jorgensen, 45, told the Seattle Times
that she heard a "big boom" at the time of the explosion that made her believe it might have been an earthquake.

"It's such a tight-knit neighborhood," she said, adding that her daughter catches a school bus in the area. "This is awful. These are all small businesses. I’m feeling fortunate this didn't happen during the day. My daughter could have been killed."

A Q13 News photographer was on the scene covering the gas leak when the explosion occurred at the corner of N. 84th Street and Greenwood Avenue North.

"I started running . . . Debris was falling from the sky," Bryan Howard said, according to the Seattle Times. "I had so much adrenaline as soon as it went off. I had my camera rolling."

KING 5 News stated that two businesses, Mr. Gyro's restaurant and a Quik Stop convenience store, were destroyed while a bike shop and a coffee shop were also heavily damaged. Puget Sound Energy spokesperson Andy Wappler told the station that the company shut off five of the six control valves that feed the area where the explosion happened.

Some described the scene in the neighborhood on social media.

 

Well this morning was quite the interesting morning. Just after 1:30am, I woke up from a dead sleep to loud explosion. I felt the shockwave and I thought a bomb went off. I jumped on the computer and went to the police scanner to hear what was going on. As I was listening, I found out crews were responding to 85th and Greenwood Ave which is a few blocks from my house. I ran immediately to the scene with my camera and was some of the first people there with the police & firefighters. There was a heavy smell of smoke and debris was scattered everywhere. Looking at the debris around, I saw garbage, brick, lotto tickets just everywhere. Windows of all these businesses that I visited were all blown out. At the site of the explosion, the beloved Mr. Gyros, Neptune Coffee, & Quick Mart were all leveled by the gas leak explosion. This is the community that I grew up and still live in. We have been through bad things before in 2009 with the arsonist but I saw last night the community coming together. Strangers were helping a business owner put up tarps over a business where the window were blown out. Since getting more information this morning, please keep the firefighters and battalion chief who were injured in the blast in your thoughts. Still can't believe this all happened in my neighborhood this morning. #greenwood #seattle #king5

A photo posted by Tuan Nguyen (@tuankers) on


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A Seattle explosion, the apparent result of a natural gas leak, injured nine firefighters and heavily damaged several buildings in the city's Greenwood neighborhood early Wednesday.
seattle, explosion, gas, leak, injured, firefighters
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2016-47-09
Wednesday, 09 Mar 2016 11:47 AM
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