There are reports of a major explosion – possibly from gas – near the Fountains shopping center and LA Fitness business in Plantation, Florida. Videos and photos posted on social media showed a large degree of damage. You can see them throughout this article.
Preliminary reports had indicated the explosion occurred at the Fountains, but it actually occurred across the street.
“The accident in Plantation occurred across the street at Market on University shopping center, not at The Fountains,” Morgan Blank, Shopping Center marketing manager, told Heavy. “The Fountains sustained minor damage to store fronts and canopy’s from debris but The Fountains is not the site of the explosion.” According to the Miami Herald, “a vacant pizza restaurant undergoing renovation” in a strip mall may be the spot of the explosion, although authorities had not confirmed that. That restaurant is Pizzafire at 1025 S. University Dr.
Plantation fire wrote on Twitter that the incident was a gas explosion with multiple patients. Authorities now say that 21 people were injured, two seriously. No one was killed.
Plantation Fire Deputy Chief Joel Gordon said in a press conference, “Thank goodness nobody was killed. Thank goodness for that… it could have been a lot worse…it could have been tremendously worse.”
A search was completed of the area. “We believe we’ve accounted for everybody… we didn’t find anybody trapped. We did find people who were obviously involved…” he said. Initially, he said 15-20 people were injured.
“We had ruptured gas lines. We did have an active gas leak when we arrived. Broward County’s haz-mat team went in. Whether that was the cause or not, we have not confirmed. The building was occupied. The LA Fitness was. There was a pizza restaurant next to it that was closed,” said Gordon.
He said that initial reports “were of multiple people injured and possibly people trapped. We haven’t confirmed a gas leak just yet but there’s significant debris throughout the entire” area. He added, “We did find several patients throughout the area, mostly confined to the LA Fitness location. We have an approximate account of 15-20 patients at this point. We know there were two that were serious. One was taken as a level 1 trauma.” He said injuries were “mostly related to blast explosion debris – that kind of scenario.”
He added: “We got initial reports of missing people. We went in and searched and so far we haven’t found any.” According to Gordon, gas was shut off for the entire area.
“All stores and businesses in the area of the Fountains Plaza and the Plantation Marketplace plaza near LA Fitness will be shut down until further notice until Fire Personnel can determine that it is safe to return. Please do not come into this area if possible,” Plantation police wrote.
The roof was blown off a building near the LA Fitness. NBC Miami reported that an LA Fitness employee smelled gas before the explosion occurred.
The scene was littered with debris. It’s not clear whether there were any deaths. The explosion occurred on the afternoon of July 6, 2019.
Videos showed the damage. The Code Ninjas business wrote on Facebook: “Dear Code Ninjas families we are hearing reports that a fire and or explosion has occurred at Market on University where we have our Plantation Code Ninjas. We are fortunate to have been closed today and all our Ninjas, Senseis and Directors are safe. Our thoughts and prayers are now with all those families who were affected attending the other shops in the area. We will keep you posted as we know more.” That business teaches kids computer coding.
“Avoid the area of University Drive and Peter’s Road. Fire and PD are working an incident involving an explosion,” Plantation police wrote on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know:
There was Damage to the LA Fitness Gym, Reports Say
Journalist Liane Morejon shared the above video and wrote that the explosion occurred across the street from the LA Fitness. “Massive explosion at the Fountains in Plantation. This video was sent to me by my own cousin who was inside @LAFitness when it happened. The explosion was across the street, and it still caused this much damage at the gym. He’s ok,” she wrote. According to ABC News, windows were blown out of the LA Fitness, and “a building next door appeared completely destroyed, with debris strewn in all directions.” It’s not yet clear what that building housed. Again, though, the explosion across across the street from the Fountains, not at it.
However, photos showed it was destroyed.
The police also wrote: “Plantation Police wants you to know about Police activity in the area of S University Dr & Peters Rd. Please avoid the area. No action required…North bound traffic on University Drive shut down.”
Videos showed the scene, including windows blown out of the LA Fitness. Fire officials were treating people at the scene.
Initial reports from NBC Miami had said the explosion was at the LA Fitness establishment. There was a massive law enforcement response to the scene.
This post is being updated as more information is learned about the Fountains explosion in Plantation.