Gas Leak Explosion Levels Portland Bagelworks, Injures Eight

Fire, flames

Eight people were injured in a gas leak explosion that leveled a bagel shop in Northwest Portland Wednesday morning. The explosion occurred around 9 a.m. after a contractor working at a construction site near the intersection of NW 23rd Avenue and Glisan Street hit a gas line.

The owner of Bagelworks called NW Natural after the manager called to say a construction worker told her a gas line had been struck and the baker said he could smell gas. Dosha salon, next door to the bagel shop, also called NW Natural after noticing the smell, according to KATU News.

Shortly after firefighters evacuated Bagelworks employees, the building exploded. “I did time in Iraq. This was just like a bomb going off,” a witness told KATU.

Two firefighters who were in the building when it exploded suffered broken legs. A third firefighter was also injured as were two police officers and three civilians who were hospitalized.
Dozens of people were evacuated from the densely populated area safely.

Witnesses say they heard two explosions. The force them blew out the windows of neighboring buildings and shook the ground. ”I have never seen devastation like this in my 28 years as a firefighter,” Portland Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Myers told Portland Patch.

At least 100 firefighters were at the scene to battle the fire that broke out after the explosion. It is not yet known what caused the gas to ignite. The investigation is ongoing.


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Category: Explosion, Fire and Burn Injuries
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