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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A gas tank explosion left behind extensive damage outside a 7-Eleven in the Feltonville section of Philadelphia on Tuesday. Officials say the likely cause of the explosion was from a worker firing up an acetylene torch.
According to the Philadelphia Fire Department, work wasn’t happening below ground at the time of the blast.
The explosion happened on the 4700 block of Mascher Street around 11:30 a.m.
Video from Chopper 3 shows the damage the explosion left behind, including a huge hole in the ground.
A spokesperson for the City of Philadelphia said the contractor has a permit and the state Department of Environmental Protection certification required for this type of work.
Surveillance video of the explosion shows a manhole cover crashing down on the rear of a Nissan Sentra. Debris can also be seen flying through the air as people begin to spill out of the building after hearing the roar of the explosion.
“I got startled and ran,” said Christina Rivera.
“It was like a big bomb went off,” said another woman.
The gas tanks were being removed from the location, where Wyoming and Rising Sun Avenues meet Mascher Street, when the blast happened.
A 7-Eleven worker said the tanks were vacuumed out Monday for remaining gas.
Fire officials said they are fortunate no injuries were reported, despite debris shooting out in all directions.
Meko Noel’s Nissan Sentra was destroyed in the blast.
“There were chunks of cement flying up, so we all ran out the store, like let’s get out of here because we didn’t know if the store was going to come down,” said Noel. “I was concerned about my car. When I came out to check my car and I saw the whole trunk was caved in and the window was smashed, I immediately started crying.”
The 7-Eleven store structure is intact.