Official: 1 Dead in Natural Gas Explosion
July 30, 2010
LOS ANGELES – An apparent natural gas explosion at a welding shop Friday collapsed part of the building and hurled two workers into the street, killing one and leaving the other in critical condition, fire officials said.
The two-story wooden building in south Los Angeles was shaken by the violent explosion at about 6:15 a.m. that turned the front of the structure into matchsticks. The building caught fire, but about 100 firefighters doused the blaze in about 25 minutes, fire spokesman Eric Scott said.
Two people working in the building were thrown into the street and one was wedged under a car and had to be freed by firefighters, Scott said.
One person was hospitalized in critical condition and there were unconfirmed reports that a third person might be trapped in the building, Scott said.
Firefighters were making sure the wreckage was safe before a rescue team was brought in with dogs to search, Scott said.
“They are shoring up any portions of the building that may be unsecured, ensuring that the beams aren’t going to fall further,” Scott said.
Natural gas apparently sparked the blast but the building also contained flammable oxygen and acetylene, he said.