Friday, November 23, 2012, 5:30 PM. Our telephones started ringing. . . There had been a gas explosion on Worthington Street in Springfield, Massachusetts, and several blocks away, all of the windows had been blown out at the Birney Building (on Apremont Triangle), the building that the City Church called home, and the building that houses the studio of Karoun Yoga. Miraculously, no one had been hurt.
At the time of the explosion, the Mayor of Springfield was at the Springfield Museum Quadrangle lighting the Christmas tree -- the folks attending the ceremonial lighting there thinking that the explosion was all part of the show, the Mayor and the Lieutenant Governor knowing differently, heading at a run down Edwards Street, down Chestnut Street, past the just blown out windows of the Birney Building on Apremont Triangle, towards 453 Worthington Street where they could already see a huge black mushroom shaped cloud looming upward, and acrid smoke filling the air. It was 5:25 PM.
The Scores Strip Club (euphemistically known as a "gentleman's club", though what gentleman would be seen there, Marash Girl has yet to figure out) had reported smelling natural gas at 4:25 PM. The gas company and fire department had arrived at the scene and turned off the gas, to no avail. Very soon after, the building at 453 Worthington Street and its neighbor were no longer, the explosion heard and felt for miles around, blowing out windows and causing structural damage to buildings for blocks around, the air filled with acrid smoke. (If you have questions on whether or not your building is habitable, call 413-787-6031 or 413-787-6032.)
Oh, and the miracle? 2 buildings were completely destroyed, 12 buildings were significantly damaged, 12 buildings suffered moderate damage, (48 DAMAGED BUILDINGS AS OF NOVEMBER 26!) windows for blocks around were blown out, 18 people were injured, (9 firemen, 4 gas company employees, 2 police officers, 2 civilians, and a water & sewer worker) . . . but not one life was lost.
|Karoun's condo, 3rd floor corner apartment, Chestnut & Worthington Streets|