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Gas explosion levels Mass. building; several hurt

6:58 PM, Nov 23, 2012   |    comments
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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.

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