Spokesman: 2 firefighters, 2 others injured in Oregon blast

A gas explosion took place at NW 23rd and Glisan in Portland on Wednesday  (Courtesy: KOIN)
A gas explosion took place at NW 23rd and Glisan in Portland on Wednesday (Courtesy: KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A natural gas explosion rocked a busy northwest Portland, Oregon, neighborhood Wednesday morning, injuring two firefighters and two civilians.

A multi-story building was heavily damaged from what fire officials called a “significant explosion.” Neighbors spoke of the explosion blowing out windows and feeling like an earthquake.

Lt. Rich Chatman, spokesman for Portland Fire and Rescue, said there were no fatalities, but two firefighters and two others were injured. The extent of the injuries was not clear. An earlier tweet from the fire department said three firefighters were injured. Chatman said the situation was in flux and authorities were still gathering information about the blast.

Structural engineers were requested to assess the building’s integrity and neighbors were asked to shelter in place.

The blast occurred in a neighborhood that has condos as well as coffee shops, restaurants and other stores.

Utility officials told KGW-TV that utility workers and firefighters were responding to reports of a damaged gas line when the blast occurred. Before the explosion residents could smell gas, and crews arrived and told them to evacuate, the station reported.

A KGW-TV reporter said he saw a firefighter with a bloodied face.

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