Springfield, Mass. Police release new video of downtown explosion

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November 26, 2012, 6:09 pm
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(NECN: John Monahan, Springfield, Mass.) – We have a new view into NECN of Friday's downtown Springfield, Mass. gas explosion.

It shows the moment when a natural gas leak caused an explosion at Scores Nightclub.

You can hear the blast. That audio was captured from the ShotSpotter system that is normally used to pinpoint gunfire.

The video was taken from a surveillance camera on Chestnut Street near that explosion.

You can see the smoke emanating from the rubble.

It’s an amazing view of the destruction that we received from Springfield Police.

That city is still dealing with the aftermath of Friday's blast.
A gas company is taking responsibility, and the utility's trying to help residents and businesses in that area.

Columbia Gas Company did admit responsibility Monday, saying an employee accidentally punctured a gas line while investigating a call for the smell of gas.

The company is stepping up and taking responsibility, opening a claims center for victims in Springfield.

Victims of Friday’s massive explosion are now able to file claims with Columbia Gas Company. A claims center was set up in Springfield City Hall to offer assistance to everyone impacted.

Columbia Gas spokesperson Sheila Doiron says they are trying to start the financial claims process for anyone that was impacted and says they are able to provide some immediate cash advance money to tide people over.

The blast demolished three buildings, blew out windows for blocks and left hundreds without a home or business.

It was a huge explosion all caused by a tiny hole, after the gas line was pierced by a Columbia employee investigating the smell of gas.

Stephen Bryant of Columbia Gas says that employee called for the evacuation of the building and that lives were saved because of that action.  

“There’s no question that there was a mistake made when as soon as in probing for the leak out around the building, when we penetrated the service line going to the building and that released the gas and filled up the building. There’s no question that that was the cause of the explosion,” says Doiron.

Now, the cleanup is underway, and Springfield’s Mayor says it’s time to help the people most affected by this explosion.

Our latest numbers show 94 people turned out to the claims center, but they are expecting upwards of 200. They have extended the hours; they will be open Tuesday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Or, you can call 1-800-869-1876, ext. #1.

Tags: explosion, Domenic Sarno, Springfield police, springfield massachusetts, ShotSpotter, John Monahan, Sheila doiron, Columbia gas company, scores nightclub, claims center, springfield mayor
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