The Latest: Surveillance video shows force of Seattle blast

AP News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2016 5:17 PM
The Latest: Surveillance video shows force of Seattle blast

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a natural gas explosion in Seattle (all times local):

2 p.m.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says 36 businesses were damaged in the early morning gas explosion in the Greenwood neighborhood. During a news conference next to the rubble, Murray said the city will help the region rebuild.

Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins says he is proud of the way his firefighters put themselves in the right position as they investigated reports of a gas leak. He says their training kept them from getting killed when the explosion happened.

Puget Sound Energy spokesman Andy Wappler says they're supporting the investigation, but the cause remains unclear. It was not known if the problem came from inside or outside the building. He says gas lines are inspected every three years, but he didn't know when the pipes in the area had last been inspected.

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9:20 a.m.

Video surveillance from a restaurant shows the force of a natural gas blast that tore through a Seattle neighborhood overnight, sending nine firefighters to the hospital and reducing businesses to rubble.

The footage from the Olive and Grape restaurant shows a bright flash and then the room shakes as debris falls from the ceiling. A large garage door covering the restaurant's front windows protected it from extensive damage.

Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman Akiko Oda said gas service for the impacted buildings has been off since 2:48 a.m., and they expanded the gas shutdown in the block surrounding the damaged site. Oda says all six valves were shut off by about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

PSE has completed leak surveys for the block around the area and no leaks have been found.

Oda says it will take time to determine what caused the explosion and they'll be working with the Seattle Fire Department in their investigation.

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7:15 a.m.

Among the businesses damaged or destroyed in a natural gas explosion in a North Seattle neighborhood was Neptune Coffee, Mr. Gyro and a bike shop called G&O Family Cyclery.

Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said no one who lived or worked in the neighborhood has been treated at the hospital. By 7:15, only four of the firefighters who were being treated for minor cuts and abrasions were still at the center.

Gregg said those four were being discharged.

As the morning dawned, the extent of the damage could be seen. Pieces of wood and chunks of broken glass littered the streets. Windows on surrounding buildings were shattered as smoke streamed from the rubble.

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6:15 a.m.

Crews are working to shut off natural gas in the Seattle neighborhood rocked by an explosion that heavily damaged buildings and injured nine firefighters.

Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman Christina Donegan said the company is working with the Seattle Fire Department to shut off the gas and then a survey team will move in.

Donegan says their focus will be to determine if there was an issue with gas to the building or something inside the building.

Nearby residents were evacuated after the blast early Wednesday, but there's no word of other injuries or anyone missing. Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the nine firefighters suffered largely cuts and abrasions and eight were being released. The ninth was being further evaluated to determine if he needed to be admitted.

One witness told Seattle TV station KOMO the blast shook him out of bed.

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4 a.m.

Authorities say nine Seattle fire fighters are injured and residents have been evacuated following a natural gas explosion.

Fire department spokeswoman Corey Orvold says crews are fighting flames following the blast early Wednesday.

She says all the injured firefighters are being treated for minor wounds at a hospital.

The blast and fire occurred in the city's Greenwood neighborhood after firefighters responded to a report of a natural gas leak.

Orvold says that about 40 minutes after they arrived an explosion rocked the area.

There is no word of any other injuries or anyone missing. But Orvold says dogs are being used to go through the rubble just in case.

An undetermined number of residents of two nearby buildings have been evacuated.

She says at least one building and possibly two have been heavily damaged, while several others in the area have shattered windows and other problems.