On Nov. 22, a natural gas explosion took down a building on Worthington Street and left significant damage on several other downtown locations.
A little before 5:30 p.m., Scores Gentleman’s Club was the site of the explosion that according to The Republican injured 21 people. This included over a dozen city workers, such as firefighters and police officers, who were at the scene following the report of a large gas leak, although there were no fatalities.
Firefighters and Columbia Gas Company had evacuated the club, along with other surrounding locations, and were on the scene for over an hour before the explosion hit.
Scores is around two miles away from campus and the effects of the explosion could be felt in surrounding towns, not just the downtown area.
A Columbia Gas employee, who punctured a pipe that created the leak, caused the explosion according to a report on MassLive.com Monday morning.
The worker was looking to stick a metal probe tool in the ground, but inadvertently hit the pipe line. Columbia Gas has stated to MassLive.com that the employee followed company procedures regarding locating underground gas pipes.
There is an investigation to determine whether or not the worker followed protocol, but the city’s gas system has been cleared.
The explosion was located in the Entertainment District of the city, a popular location for students during the weekends.
A popular bar, Theodore’s, also located on Worthington Street, had windows smashed and one waitress told MassLive.com that it felt like an earthquake.
“The Entertainment District will be shut down for as long as it needs to be shut down,” Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno told reporters on Friday. “It’s not really on my mind right now.”
On Monday, 60 people fielded claims for losses with Columbia Gas, followed by 90 more on Tuesday, according to a report from MassLive.com.
Square One Children’s Center on Chesnut Street was destroyed, the same building that dealt with damages from the June 1, 2011 tornado.
The Friday gas explosion is being ruled a human error.