Day after Plantation explosion, investigators try to determine cause

23 people injured in blast at shopping plaza

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor

PLANTATION, Fla. - One day after an explosion at a Plantation shopping center injured 23 people, investigators were trying to determine what caused the blast.

The explosion occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Market on University shopping plaza on South University Drive.

Plantation Mayor Lynn Stoner toured the damage Sunday morning. She said in a statement that the now-shuttered PizzaFire restaurant appears to have been the source of the explosion.

Plantation Mayor Lynn Stoner assesses the damage caused by an explosion at a shopping center in her city a day earlier.

The explosion demolished the building, leaving behind only part of its metal frame. The restaurant had been out of business for several months.

Several other businesses in the plaza were severely damaged, including the LA Fitness. The blast blew out the windows of the popular fitness club.

Twisted metal, splintered wood, damaged vehicles and other debris were scattered throughout the parking lot.

After an extensive search by the Plantation Fire Department and various other agencies, authorities determined that everyone in the businesses at the time of the blasts had been accounted for and nobody was trapped in the rubble.

A view from Sky 10 one day after an explosion at a Plantation shopping center shows several vehicles in the LA Fitness parking garage damaged.

Of the 23 people injured, 19 were taken to area hospitals to be treated, including one child. Nobody was killed and none of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

"We really, really dodged a bullet," Plantation Fire Department Deputy Chief Joel Gordon said Sunday morning during an appearance on "This Week in South Florida."

Plantation police were notifying affected business owners and patrons to gather in the parking lot of the Charles Schwab building on South University Drive at 11:30 a.m. for instructions on how to retrieve property.

The Plantation Fire Department and state fire marshal are investigating the explosion.

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