Explosion at Virginia Strip Mall Injures at Least Three


At least three people were injured, two of them seriously, after an explosion and fire on Saturday morning at a Harrisonburg, Va., strip mall, the authorities said.

The cause of the explosion was unknown, Michael Parks, a spokesman for the city, which is about 130 miles northwest of Richmond, said at a news conference. He said the two-story strip mall was a “complete loss.”

Firefighters were still at the shopping center, which consisted of about four businesses, including a music store and a recording studio, searching for anyone who might be unaccounted for, Mr. Parks said.

Some nearby buildings were damaged but not seriously in the explosion, which was reported around 8:30 a.m.

Some businesses in the mall confirmed their employees were safe.

“We have received information from our landlord that the store has been destroyed by an explosion,” a representative for one of the stores, Hometown Music, wrote on Facebook. “We were not open and the employees are OK. Thanks for you concern and prayers. … That’s all I know for now.”

Another store, Blue Sprocket Sound, wrote on Facebook: “We don’t have all the details yet about what happened at our building. But at this time our crew is safe, and that’s the most important thing. Our hearts go out to the other businesses in the area, and want to thank all the first responders who are working hard on the scene.”

Christopher B. Jones, a City Council member, asked residents to pray for the business owners affected, those who were injured and for emergency responders. “We’re praying for them and hoping that everyone comes out of this safe and alive,” he said.



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