A massive explosion caused by a suspected ‘gas explosion’ hit a shopping center in Virginia before a major fire engulfed the building.
Authorities confirmed they were investigating the incident at the Harrisonburg mall on Saturday morning, which left several people seriously injured.
Three people were hospitalized when the explosion hit the mall at around 8:30 am, the Daily News-Record reported.
Several others were injured but were treated by emergency services at the scene.
Photos and videos on social media showed a shopping center on fire.
The building can be seen being soaked with water by firefighters and smoke being launched 30 feet into the sky.
Harrisonburg city spokesman Mike Parks told Record that a search of the building’s remains did not reveal any other victims.
However, a second search was being conducted on Saturday afternoon.
Governor Ralph Northam said state emergency teams were dispatched to the site of the big explosion.
He tweeted, “My team and I are closely monitoring the situation in Harrisonburg after a gas explosion this morning.
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“First aid and firefighters are on site, and we deploy state emergency personnel for additional support. Please avoid the area. ‘
But Harrisonburg fire chief Matt Tobia later told reporters that the cause was unknown and was still under investigation.
According to Fox5 DC, the windows of the neighborhood’s buildings were blown up with residents saying they heard the explosion from five miles away.