Five people, including three James Madison University students, were injured in an explosion at a strip mall in Harrisonburg, Va., Saturday morning, according to city officials.
Harrisonburg city spokesman Mike Parks told The Washington Post that police received multiple reports of an explosion around 8:30 a.m. Saturday at a building just a few blocks west of the James Madison University campus.
Parks told CNN that a three-alarm fire spread to at least two other commercial buildings in the city, which is located about 54 miles northwest of Charlottesville.
Videos of the fire were quickly posted on Twitter, with local resident Josh Edmonds telling CNN over Twitter that even as he was working miles away, his “entire building shook and some of my coworkers were jolted in their cars when the explosion happened.”
Harrisonburg VA fire and explosion appear to be contained now. Ugly scene, explosion heard and felt miles away pic.twitter.com/vs3r6BxHaH
— Josh Edmonds (@joshdedmonds) October 17, 2020
— Jesse (@silvabrite3) October 17, 2020
Virginia Gov. (D) tweeted later in the morning that the incident was a “gas explosion” and that he had deployed state emergency personnel to assist firefighters and first responders as they worked to contain the blaze.
My team and I are closely monitoring the situation in Harrisonburg after a gas explosion this morning.
First responders and firefighters are on the scene, and we have deployed state emergency personnel for additional support. Please avoid the area.
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) October 17, 2020
Two people were found injured and flown by helicopter to University of Virginia Medical Center, with the Post reporting that they were in stable condition Saturday afternoon.
Parks and James Madison University officials confirmed to the Post that three college students who had been near the strip mall for an event also had minor injuries after being hit by debris from the explosion.
One of the students reportedly received treatment at a hospital, while the other two were treated and released at the scene.
Parks told the Post Saturday afternoon that firefighters had not found evidence that anyone else was in the building at the time of the explosion.
#injured #Virginia #explosion