Surveillance video captured the moment a gas leak at sparked an explosion at a Washington state motel. The footage shows the blast from two different angles as debris flew into the air and three floors collapsed.
Warren Henry was standing outside along with other guests, evacuated because of the gas leak.
“Something hit me,” said Henry, pointing to a small cut on his hand. "I was looking right at it. Yeah it was a big explosion, very big.”
The blast threw firefighters and gas workers back several feet, injuring one of the gas workers, identified as Larry Jennings, 59. Bremerton Fire Chief Al Duke said Jennings suffered, “a fractured cervical spine, fractured lumbar spine and has burns on his arms, second- and third-degree burns.”
Fire roared through the area where three floors of the motel collapsed into a pile, burying cars, rooms and people's belongings.
“How could this possibly happen, right?” said motel guest Keith Dalton. “The building is so damaged it’s like being in a war zone.”
Three people were reported missing after the blast. One was located early Wednesday morning; two others hadn’t been located as of Wednesday evening, but Bremerton firefighters said they're certain they're not buried in the rubble.
“Because we’ve gone through the whole pile here,” said Duke, pointing to the debris. “We’ve brought cadaver dogs about three times to go through the whole pile and they’re very accurate.”
Evacuated guests huddled under a tent for shade in the hot afternoon sun, eating pizza brought by the Red Cross. They were finally allowed to go into the motel and get their belongings late Wednesday.
Warren Henry said his things are buried in the debris. “I mean, my computer, my phone, everything is gone. Everything I had.”
Investigators are working the scene.
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