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Building explodes in Oregon, injuring 8


Eight people were injured when a building exploded in northwest Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday morning.

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Fire officials said three firefighters, two police officers and three civilians were injured. Two of the injured firefighters have broken legs. The third will need surgery.

No fatalities were reported.

According to KOIN News, the gas incident happened around 9 a.m. Wednesday, near the intersection of NW 23rd Avenue and Glisan Street.

Utility company NW Natural said that a contractor digging in the area struck a gas line, causing damage. However, it was not immediately clear what caused the leaked gas to ignite. 

Kimberly Johnson, the COO of Dosha Salon Spa, told KOIN that the salon was evacuated before the explosion happened and all of her employees were safe.

Witnesses heard two explosions, the force of which sent plumes of smoke over northwest Portland and shook buildings, according to KOIN.

Portland Fire and Rescue responded to the area. The explosion was categorized as a four-alarm gas fire incident.

The explosion appears to have occurred at Portland Bagelworks.

The owner of the shop told KATU News that all his employees were safe. The explosion blew the windows out of the building next to the bagel shop.

Earlier this year, a massive explosion leveled a building, destroyed businesses and injured nine firefighters in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.

The Utilities and Transportation Commission said the Greenwood explosion, which happened in March, was caused by a damaged gas line that was listed as abandoned in Puget Sound Energy records but remained connected for years.

Records showed the line was listed as abandoned in 2004.  At the time, PSE failed to properly disconnect and seal the line, which kept it in service for nearly 12 years without proper oversight, a news release said.

Investigators determined the explosion was possibily caused by a homeless person who accessed a space near the pipe without proper authorization. That person "applied force" to the gas line.

The cause of the building explosion in Portland was not immediately known.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.


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