A vacant pizza restaurant exploded Saturday in a thundering roar at a South Florida shopping plaza, injuring more than 20 people as large chunks of concrete flew through the air.
Firefighters found ruptured gas lines following the blast which flung debris widely along a busy road in Plantation, west of Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant was destroyed, nearby businesses and cars were damaged.
“We thought it was thunder at first, and then we felt the building shake and things started falling. I looked outside and it was almost like the world was ending,” said Alex Carver, a worker at a deli across the street from the explosion. “It was nuts, man. It was crazy.”
The explosion hurled large pieces of concrete up to 50 yards (45 meters) away and sent pieces of metal scattering as far as 100 yards (90 meters) across the street. Carver said two of his co-workers’ cars were destroyed. At least 21 people were injured though none of the injuries was life-threatening, Police Sgt. Jesica Ryan said.
The explosion demolished the building, leaving behind only part of its metal frame. The restaurant, called PizzaFire, had been out of business for several months. The blast also blew out the windows of a popular fitness club next door at the shopping plaza in Broward County.
Jesse Walaschek had just left the fitness club with his wife and three children, ages 4, 6 and 8. They were parked near the restaurant and had just driven about 50 yards (45 meters) away when they heard the blast.
This could have been prevented by installing or specifying a Gas Safety system. At American Gas Safety our main priority is ensuring not only the building is safe from gas leaks but more so the people inside them. Our Merlin controllers will detect any Methane leaks and it will also not allow gas into the restaurant without the exhaust hood running. The Merlin 2000S is perfect for this situation (see pictured below) Allowing key lock authority over the gas supply to the kitchen and auto shut down of the supply if and when dangerous levels of Methane is present. Plus, in the event of a fire can be linked into the Ansul system and Fire Alarm.
Luckily this time nobody was killed, this could of been a whole lot worse.
Full details of the news coverage can be found on the following link – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/plantation-explosion-20-injured-florida-shopping-plaza-la-fitness-today-fort-lauderdale-live-updates-2019-07-06/