An explosion in a Florida mall took place at around 11.30am local time at a shopping plaza in Broward County of central Florida. The explosion destroyed a restaurant that had been out of business for quite some time. An adjacent gym also suffered damage. The blast left at least 21 people injured, none of them suffered life-threatening injuries. The pizza restaurant became a mound of rubble and many nearby businesses felt the impact with debris flung into the air causing consequential damage to nearby properties. When firefighters arrived, they discovered broken gas pipes.

The authorities remained tight-lipped about the cause of the explosion.

Sky News quotes a witness as saying he initially thought the blast to be thunder but soon the building began to shake. In his words – “it was almost like the world was ending.” Another witness talked about a flash of light that lit up the sky while yet another said it resembled an apocalypse. The force of the blast sent remnants of the building flying in all directions damaging some cars parked nearby.

The explosion remains a mystery

The police indicated injuries to at least 21 people and assured that none of those were life-threatening.

The explosion destroyed a restaurant in Florida that had closed down some months back and blew out the windows of a gym. This was located at the shopping plaza in Broward County. There were people in the gym at the time and the result of the explosion could have been more serious. As an official of the Plantation fire department said, "Thank goodness, at this point, nobody was killed.

As bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse.”

Sky News adds that teams of firefighters searched the rubble with the help of sniffer dogs to ensure that there was no one trapped underneath the rubble.

Gas explosion suspected

According to CNN, the explosion in a shopping mall in Florida has taken the authorities by surprise. Plantation Fire Department indicated in the initial stages about investigating the possibilities of this being a gas explosion. However, they later backtracked and said more work is required to establish the exact cause. Plantation Fire Deputy Chief Joel Gordon admitted that there was evidence of an active gas leak at the scene when firefighters arrived after receiving a report of an explosion.

Police have completed a search of the blast zone and confirmed there were no fatalities and all the victims have been located. The injured were shifted to hospitals. The location of the incident appears to be in a corner of the mall complex at the intersection of two buildings.

Witnesses mentioned a chaotic scene following the explosion, with shattered windows and scattered debris all over the place. Plantation police said that all stores and businesses in the area will remain closed until further notice. That clearance will be given by fire personnel after confirming that it is safe to return.