Published: Mon, October 19, 2020

Five injured in United States shopping center gas explosion

Five injured in United States shopping center gas explosion

A massive explosion in Virginia left at least five injured this weekend, including several college students.

The two-story shopping center was a "complete loss", Michael Parks, a spokesman for the city, said at a news conference.

The victim who sustained only minor injuries has been confirmed as a student at James Madison University, according to a statement by the school. Two other students were treated at the scene and released, according to the post.

Although Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted Saturday morning that state emergency personnel had been deployed to the area after what he called a gas explosion, Tobia said the cause was under investigation.

One of the injured JMU students was hospitalized but was expected to be quickly released, the university said.

Two people were taken to a hospital with serious injuries, and another with minor injuries, Parks said.

The blast occurred near a site where about 30 people from James Madison University's Army ROTC program were participating in a race, the university in Harrisonburg said. The city's update, posted on Twitter around 5:30 p.m., said they had been flown to the University of Virginia's medical center in serious condition and were "now stable".

Families who lived nearby told TV station WHSV the blast shook their homes.

Firefighters battle flames at a shopping center early Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 in Harrisonburg, Va. Officials say an explosion and subsequent fire at the shopping center has injured a few people. An injured man on the ground "started hollering that he's dying", Boyd said.

Social media reactions indicated that the initial explosion was felt possibly miles away. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

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