Multiple injuries after explosion at Florida shopping plaza

PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) — Twenty people were injured after a vacant pizza restaurant exploded in a South Florida shopping plaza Saturday, according to police.

The blast sent debris flying along a busy road in Plantation, west of Fort Lauderdale in Broward County. The restaurant was destroyed, and nearby businesses were damaged.

"We thought it was thunder at first, and then we felt the building shake and things started falling. I looked outside and it was almost like the world was ending," said Alex Carver, who works at a deli across the street from the explosion. "It was nuts, man. It was crazy."

The Plantation fire department called it a gas explosion. The blast scattered large pieces of concrete as far as 50 yards (46 meters) away and sent pieces of metal as far as 100 yards (91 meters) across the street. Carver said two of his co-workers' cars were destroyed.

The explosion demolished the building, leaving behind only part of its metal frame. It blew out the windows of a popular fitness club next door.

RELATED: Mexico fuel pipe explosion

11 PHOTOS
Mexico fuel pipeline explosion
See Gallery
Mexico fuel pipeline explosion
In this image provided by the Secretary of National Defense, soldiers guard the area by an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A huge fire exploded at a pipeline leaking fuel in central Mexico on Friday, killing at least 21 people and badly burning 71 others as locals were collecting the spilling gasoline in buckets and garbage cans, officials said. Officials said the leak was caused by an illegal tap that fuel thieves had drilled into the pipeline in a small town in the state of Hidalgo, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) north of Mexico City. (Secretary of National Defense via AP)
Staff of Pemex, Petroleos Mexicanos, works the area of a oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed several people and badly burned others. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
Soldiers guard the area by an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed several people and badly burned others. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
Forensic experts working in the area an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed dozens of people and badly burned many more. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
Forensic experts working in the area an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed dozens of people and badly burned many more. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
Forensic experts working in the area an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed dozens of people and badly burned many more. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
Forensic experts working in the area an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed dozens of people and badly burned many more. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
Forensic experts work the area an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed dozens of people and badly burned many more. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
A woman cries outside a funeral service in Tula, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed multiple people and badly burned others. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
Family embrace outside a funeral service in Tula, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed multiple people and badly burned others. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
Staff of Pemex, Petroleos Mexicanos, works the area of a oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. A massive fireball that engulfed people scooping up fuel spilling from a pipeline ruptured by thieves in central Mexico killed several people and badly burned others. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Dozens of firefighters responded and could be seen picking through the rubble with dogs sniffing through the debris. There were no known fatalities immediately after the explosion, said police officer Chavez Grant. Of the 20 injured, two were seriously hurt.

The Plantation fire and police departments said on Twitter that the street was closed to traffic. The fire department called it a gas explosion with "multiple patients."

Read Full Story