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Gas line explosion rattles homes and forces school evacuation

'I sat there and heard this humungous boom and a vibration'
Posted at 6:02 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 18:24:11-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — The gas explosion along Florida’s Turnpike near Lake Worth Road was heard and felt by many people Thursday morning.

“I sat there and heard this humungous boom and a vibration,” said Suzanne Nixon who was working at home in her condo.

“It wasn’t like a regular sound and it kept going and kept going and the tremors, I kept feeling tremors,” Nixon said.

“Out of nowhere, it felt almost like a shockwave. It took the wind out of me,” said Justin Levin, owner of Lake Worth Gold Mine right across Lake Worth Road from the blast.

Levin said it took about a minute for him and his brother to lock up the store and get out.

“A normal explosion has sound and then it stops but this one had whistling that you could hear the gas streaming out of the pipeline,” Levin said.

On the other side of the Turnpike, students at Discovery Key Elementary School were evacuated to a nearby middle school.

“No communication, we had multiple messages coming through,” said William Goldston, a parent of one student.

A spokesperson for the Palm Beach County School District said the evacuation was coordinated with authorities and students were moved as quickly as possible out of the building wearing facial masks.

The scene from morning to the afternoon was tense at times as the blast was followed by a discolored cloud that rose up from the gas pipeline rupture.

“It wasn’t just a boom and then a bunch of smoke, there wasn’t really smoke there was debris and dirt and all that billowing was gas,” Levin said.