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‘It looks like an apocalypse’: 21 hurt in blast at US shopping centre

At least 21 people have been injured after a huge explosion at a shopping centre in Florida.

The blast in the city of Plantation destroyed a pizza restaurant and damaged nearby businesses and cars as large chunks of concrete were sent flying through the air.

Firefighters found damaged gas pipes afterwards, although authorities have said it is too early to determine the cause of the explosion.

Image: The explosion happened at about 11.30am local time on Saturday
Up to 20 people were injured in the blast
Image: An LA Fitness gym was badly damaged

Alex Carver, who was working across the street from the blast, said: "We thought it was thunder at first, and then we felt the building shake and things started falling. I looked outside and it was almost like the world was ending.

"It was nuts, man. It was crazy."

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Up to 20 people were injured in the blast
Image: Firefighters sifted through the rubble to check if anyone was trapped
Up to 20 people were injured in the blast
Image: Damaged gas pipes were found among the debris

One witness told local TV station WPLG that a huge flash of light "lit up the whole sky."

"It was loud," the witness said. "This surpassed fireworks … your ears were ringing.

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"It just looks like an apocalypse," she added.

A firefighter walks through the remains of a building after an explosion on Saturday, July 6, 2019, in Plantation, Fla. Several people were injured after a vacant pizza restaurant exploded in the South Florida shopping plaza Saturday, according to police. The restaurant was destroyed, and nearby businesses were damaged. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Image: A witness said a huge flash of light 'lit up the whole sky'
Up to 20 people were injured in the blast
Image: Several cars were damaged

The explosion, which happened at about 11.30am local time (4.30pm UK time) on Saturday, scattered large pieces of concrete as far as 50 yards away and sent pieces of metal 100 yards across the street.

Mr Carver said two of his co-workers' cars were destroyed.

Police said at least 21 people were injured, though none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Up to 20 people were injured in the blast
Image: Large pieces of concrete and metal were sent flying Read More – Source