Joel Gordon, deputy chief of the Plantation Fire Department, confirmed that over two dozen people had received medical care for their injuries, two of which were seriously hurt and one with life-threatening injuries, USA Today reported. The blast sent large pieces of debris about 91 metres across the street.
"There is no more gas leak", he said.
"Our primary effort right now is to make sure that we rescue anyone who needs rescuing and we treat anyone who's injured", Ryan said. "Haven't confirmed a gas leak just yet, but there's significant debris throughout the whole strip mall that's involved".
Gordon said a reunification center was opened at Plantation Central Park Gymnasium for family members looking for their relatives and for details about businesses affected.
According to Gordon, the ruptured gas line has been secured.
The blast appeared to have occurred in a corner of the mall complex where two buildings intersect. The blast occurred at the Market on University shopping center.
'As bad it was, it could have been a lot worse, ' he said.
"This surpassed fireworks ... your ears were ringing."It just looks like an apocalypse", she added.All businesses in the area are shut down until fire crews deem it safe to return, Plantation police said". "You couldn't see anything because there's so much dust". They advised motorists are to avoid the area and seek alternate routes.
The surrounding roads entering the marketplace - including University Road between Broward Boulevard and Interstate 595, and Peters Road between Pine Island Road and University Drive - are also closed until further notice.