Explosion shakes up Harrisonburg, Va., injures 3

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 19, 2020

Fire crews were dispatched around 8:30 a.m.to reports of an explosion along Miller Circle just off South Main Street, according to Harrisonburg officials.

Two people with serious injuries were flown to UVA Medical Center.

City spokesman Mike Parks told the newspaper a search of the remains of the building had not turned up any other victims, but a second search was being conducted Saturday afternoon to be sure.

© Ian Munro, Daily New-Record, via AP A firefighter walks through the burning rubble of a shopping center after an explosion in Harrisonburg, Va., on, October 17, 2020.

When firefighters arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from several businesses in the strip mall as well as two victims outside of the structure, Harrisonburg Fire Chief Matt Tobia said.

The early Saturday blast could be felt for miles around and sparked a fire that eventually caused so much damage, several shops were razed.

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Parks said the building is a total loss.

Governor Ralph Northam tweeted that he has deployed extra emergency personnel to the scene for "additional support". An injured man on the ground "started hollering that he's dying", Boyd said. The fire has since been contained.

The blast occurred near a site where about 30 people from James Madison University's Army ROTC program were participating in a race, the university in Harrisonburg said.

One of the injured JMU students was hospitalized but was expected to be quickly released, the university said. One of the students reportedly received treatment at a hospital, while the other two were treated and released at the scene.

"It woke me up personally and I mean, I knew right away that it was something not normal", Katie Landes told the station.

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