Firefighters, civilians hurt in Oregon blast
Lt. Rich Chatman, spokesman for Portland Fire and Rescue, said there were no fatalities in the Wednesday morning incident that he described as a “significant” explosion. An earlier tweet from the fire department said three firefighters were injured. Chatman said the situation was in flux and authorities were still gathering information about the blast.
Utility officials say a gas explosion in a popular Portland, Oregon, shopping district occurred after a construction crew hit a line.
Melissa Moore, spokeswoman for NW Natural, said people inside the building were evacuated Wednesday before the explosion occurred.
Authorities say two firefighters and two civilians were injured in the powerful explosion.
KGW-TV aired footage showing rubble as well as firefighters spraying water onto a heavily damaged building.
The TV station said a bagel shop and a beauty salon were located in the building.
The explosion was felt throughout the neighborhood and smoke was seen billowing from a building.
Fire officials called in additional resources after the initial response to deal with the situation.
A plume of black smoke hung over northwest Portland after the Wednesday morning explosion.
A KGW-TV reporter at the scene says he saw an injured firefighter with blood on his face.
Live video aired by KGW-TV showed heavy damage to a multi-story building.
KGW-TV says it was told by utility officials that the explosion occurred as utility workers and firefighters responded to reports of a damaged gas line.