In Harrisonburg, Virginia, an explosion blasted residents awake around 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. That’s when the 911 calls started coming in. Three people were injured, two of them seriously. This story is still developing.
Explosion felt for miles
Citizens all across the Shenandoah Valley felt this morning’s explosion, which happened in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The tweets started rolling in with residents in Dayton, which is 5 miles away, and Weyers Cave, about 13 miles away reporting that they felt or heard the detonation.
Three people have been reported injured by the explosion. According to a police spokesperson, “two of the victims were taken to the hospital in serious condition.” The third was treated at the scene for minor injuries. It’s not yet clear if anyone is unaccounted for.
The blast occurred “in a commercial area” along South Main Street, near Miller Circle. Mike Parks, a spokesman for the city says the cause of the explosion isn’t yet known but Liberal Governor Ralph Northam quickly speculated that it’s the result of a gas leak. He’s keeping his fingers crossed that nothing ties it to Black Lives Matter.
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.
— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) October 17, 2020
Governor blames it on a gas leak
Northam headed straight for twitter to get the message out that “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.”
As of 9:30 a.m., Saturday morning, firefighters continued battling flames at the scene of the morning’s explosion. Ambulances were still standing by as police were actively investigating. The fire and most of the damage has been contained for now to the shopping area and hasn’t spread to any nearby structures.
The plaza which was destroyed by the explosion contained a grocery store along with a smoke shop, barbershop, and a music store. Social media and news footage from the scene continues to show a thick column of noxious smoke which can be seen from across the entire area. This is a developing story and details will be provided as the the information becomes available.