Springfield, MA: Natural gas explosion destroys building

Workers investigated leak an hour before explosion

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Authorities say a natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities has leveled one building and damaged others but hasn't killed anyone.

Fire officials in Springfield, Mass., say a building housing a strip club was destroyed and a dozen other buildings sustained major damage in the Friday blast. Initially they said two buildings had been destroyed.

Police say the explosion site looks as though it was hit by a missile.

Firefighters and police officers are among 18 people injured in the blast. None of the injuries is considered life-threatening.

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray says it's a "miracle" no one died.

Gas company workers had been sent to investigate a possible gas leak in the commercial and residential area, 90 miles west of Boston. The explosion occurred an hour later.

The cause of the blast is unknown.

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