Gas Explosion Rocks Downtown Springfield, Massachusetts

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say it's a miracle a natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities didn't kill anyone.

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray says two buildings were destroyed and several firefighters and police officers were injured Friday evening.

Gas company workers in the area because of a leak are among more than a dozen people hurt.

The explosion in a downtown area of Springfield leveled a building housing a strip club. It blew out all windows in a three-block radius, leaving three more buildings damaged beyond repair and prompting emergency workers to evacuate an apartment building that buckled.

Police say it looks as though there was a missile strike where the explosion occurred. Murray says it's "a miracle" no one died.

Firefighters say they're investigating how the blast happened.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say a natural gas explosion has leveled at least one multistory building in the largest city in western Massachusetts and a number of people have suffered significant injuries.

A spokesman for Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says there's no word on whether there have been any fatalities in Friday evening's blast.

The explosion happened shortly before 6 p.m. and sent bricks and glass flying through downtown streets. Police Sgt. John Delaney says authorities are evacuating the commercial and residential area.

A witness in a nearby barbershop tells WWLP-TV he heard a loud explosion that knocked him to the other side of the store. He says he looked up the street and saw one building severely damaged.

The station reports two buildings have been damaged and the blast was felt miles away.