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Virginia shopping plaza destroyed in explosion

More than 70 firefighters showed up to the scene and searched under the rubble to make sure no one was underneath.
Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 8:50 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WVLT/WHSV) - A Harrisburg, Virginia shopping plaza was destroyed after a powerful explosion in the building Saturday morning.

People within miles of the mall located on South Main Street said they could feel and hear the explosion around 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

More than 70 firefighters showed up to the scene and searched under the rubble to make sure no one was underneath.

The explosion was terrifying for runners passing by when it happened.

“It was like the ground shook. It was like the ground went down and then there was a massive explosion that went upward and there just was a moment of fight or flight, definitely and everyone saying ‘run, run, run’ and we were all were running and screaming," runner Nelle Fox told WHSV.

Fox said it was raining glass and bricks.

The sound of the explosion woke some people up out of their sleep.

“My house and everybody.. everybody come outside the house the whole house was shaking, we thought a bomb or anything like this...it was very scary. We’re scared really," said Fouad Kabachy.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in a Tweet that state of emergency crews were being deployed to the area to help.

The plaza was once home to a vape shop, a hair salon and a music store.

The Harrisburg Fire Chief said it could take several days to find out what caused the explosion.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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