Gas explosion levels buildings in Massachusetts; at least 18 hurt

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say it's a miracle a natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities didn't kill anyone.

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray says two buildings were destroyed and several firefighters and police officers were injured Friday evening.

Gas company workers in the area because of a leak are among at least 18 people injured.

The explosion in a downtown area of Springfield leveled a building housing a strip club. It blew out all windows in a three-block radius, leaving three more buildings damaged beyond repair and prompting emergency workers to evacuate an apartment building that buckled.

Police say it looks as though there was a missile strike where the explosion occurred. Murray says it's "a miracle" no one died.

Firefighters say they're investigating how the blast happened.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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