First responder shares story of Worthington explosion - WFSB 3 Connecticut

First responder shares story of Worthington explosion

Posted: Updated:
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Four days after the Worthington Street explosion, CBS 3 is hearing more from the first responders who were on scene before the blast even happened.

Public safety officials say it's a miracle no one was killed.

CBS 3 spoke with Executive Aid to the Fire Commissioner Dennis Leger, who says that a strange feeling came over him to run back to his car in the seconds before that explosion.

Leger was on scene taking care of the initial calls of the gas leak.

"I needed to find out which buildings were evacuated, how many people were evacuated and what the addresses were," he said.

He said a strange feeling came over him and he decided to walk back to his nearby car.

"And as I walked away and got 20 or 30 yards away, the thing exploded to my rear," he said.

Surveillance footage from the Springfield Police Department shows bricks, glass and debris flying, some of it hitting Leger.

"All I saw was the dust cloud of that white crushed concrete powder, I saw the cloud coming," he said.

About 20 people were injured, including firefighters and police officers. Some of them suffered burns to their hands and faces.

But Leger says all of those first responders were just doing their jobs and that's what prevented this explosion from becoming deadly.

"It could have been a lot worse, there could have been a lot more injured and possibly killed if they weren't evacuated," he said.  

Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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