21 injured after gas explosion at shopping center in Florida (PHOTO, VIDEO)

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A suspected gas explosion has ripped through a shopping center in Plantation, Florida. The blast caused extensive damage and injured 21 people, two seriously.

Plantation Fire Department Battalion Chief Joel Gordon told reporters that two of those injured are in a “serious” condition, with one transported to a level one trauma unit. Gordon’s department and multiple other fire departments were on the scene since the blast was reported at around 11.30 AM on Saturday.

Video footage from the scene shows the shopping center’s parking lot strewn with debris, and windows at the front of the building blown out.

The explosion appears to have caused severe damage to much of the shopping center, with large sections of its roof and walls completely destroyed. The collapsed building appeared to be a section of the mall housing a computer coding school, a dentist’s office, and several eateries. Some of these businesses had been closed for the holiday weekend, minimizing casualties.

Nearby roads have been shut down, and police have advised locals to avoid the area. Local businesses have been evacuated, and the gas supply to their premises has been shut off.

Plantation Fire Department had evacuated several buildings in the area after workers reported smelling gas earlier this week on Wednesday.

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