Eighteen people are in the hospital after a massive gas explosion in downtown Springfield that leveled two buildings and damaged a dozen others.
Nine Springfield firefighters, two Springfield police officers, one sewer worker, two civilians, and two Columbia Gas Company workers are injured. There are no fatalities, and none of the injuries are thought to be life threatening.
The explosion happened around 5:30 p.m. inside Scores Gentlemen's Club on Worthington Street. Firefighters and Columbia Gas Company workers were investigating a call for an odor of gas in the area.
Columbia Gas is currently monitoring levels of natural gas in the downtown area, which is still shut down. The gas company is still trying to figure out where the exact leak was.
The entire downtown entertainment district is shut down and will be shut down through the night, according to Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Buildings within a two to three block radius had some windows blown out. Demolition contractors have been called in to inspect buildings in the blast zone.
A perimeter has been established around the blast zone, and Springfield Police anti-looting details are patrolling the area. Columbia Gas says it will continue to monitor the area for elevated gas readings. They also intend to drill holes in streets to look for underground gas.
The blast was felt from as far away as Hardwick, 30 miles northeast of the city.
A shelter has been opened at Central High School for residents who live in downtown apartments and were evacuated.
The American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter sent a crew of 14 to assist. The team will work out of the Worthington Street firehouse to support first responders.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has contacted FEMA and the Small Business Administration to get federal assistance.
Anyone who had damage to their building or residence is asked to call 787-6031 or 787-6032 after 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
Stay with CBS 3 for the latest on this developing story.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:54 AM EST2013-12-11 16:54:04 GMT
If snow lovers think they just didn't get enough of it on Monday and Tuesday, forecasters are starting to come into agreement that a storm system expected to impact the area Saturday could bring largeMore >
If snow lovers think they didn't get enough of it Monday and Tuesday, forecasters are starting to agree a storm system expected to impact the area Saturday could bring large amounts of winter precipitation.More >
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.More >
The national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa says a man who provided sign language interpretation on stage for Nelson Mandela's memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a...More >
As one world leader after another paid homage to Nelson Mandela at a memorial service, the man standing at arm's length from them appeared to interpret their words in sign language. But advocates for the deaf say he...More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 4:30 PM EST2013-12-11 21:30:49 GMT
A Naugatuck man was arrested after two children were found shivering outside in the cold on Tuesday.Joseph Markey, 26, now faces risk of injury charges.Police said around 11:30 a.m. they were called toMore >
A Naugatuck man was arrested after two children were found shivering outside in the cold on Tuesday.More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:53 AM EST2013-12-11 16:53:22 GMT
In the mood for an extra $400 million? Well if you purchase a Mega Millions ticket for Friday's drawing that's what you could end up with.There was no jackpot winner for Tuesday night's drawing, but someoneMore >
In the mood for an extra $400 million? Well if you purchase a Mega Millions ticket for Friday's drawing that's what you could end up with.More >
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:39 PM EST2013-12-11 00:39:45 GMT
A daring rescue that helped save a mother and her three year-old son. The firefighter didn't think twice about running up into a burning building in New Haven after hearing a women yelling for help."ItMore >
A daring rescue helped save a mother and her 3-year-old son.More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:43 AM EST2013-12-11 12:43:47 GMT
A Christmas advertisement for a Canadian airline is taking the Internet by storm.WestJet Airlines set up a booth in Toronto where passengers could tell Santa Claus, of the North Pole, what they wantedMore >
A Christmas advertisement for a Canadian airline is taking the internet by storm.More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 8:33 PM EST2013-12-12 01:33:38 GMT
Bristol officials say they are undeterred in enforcing property code banning blight after an out-of-town landlord was arrested on charges of threatening to blow up City Hall in a dispute over grass thatMore >
Bristol officials say they are not deterred in enforcing the property code after a landlord was arrested on charges of threatening to blow up City Hall in a dispute over unmowed grass.More >