Gas Explosion at Shopping Mall in Maryland Caught on Video
Firefighters in Forestville, Maryland responded to a call of a strong gas odour at a strip mall Thursday afternoon, and evacuated the area minutes before it exploded.
It was caught on video by a camera on the dash of one of the fire engines.
Forty-five people were evacuated from the 5 stores and firefighters then started ventilation efforts and called for assistance of the Washington Gas Company. Firefighters discovered natural gas bubbling up from the ground on the exterior rear of the vacant store and minutes later reported that there was a fire on the interior. Within a minute, at about 1:20 PM, a massive explosion occurred. A MAYDAY call was sounded and additional resources including paramedics and a second alarm of firefighters were summoned to the scene.
Prince George's county acting Fire Chief Eugene A Jones said: "As a department we are thankful that the injuries our crews suffered are recoverable. As a community, we are fortunate that 45 lives were saved by fire fighters doing their jobs.
"Overall, in consideration of the devastating destruction we are extremely fortunate that this was not a disaster."