By Carey Codd


PLANTATION (CBSMiami) – The spokesperson for Plantation Fire Rescue says the investigation into the cause of the explosion will be lengthy and painstaking.

And while that goes on, there are dozens of people dealing with the fallout from the explosion like the loss of a job, the loss of a business, or loss of peace of mind.

On Tuesday night a number of them gathered for support.

Abbie Bryan was working out at the LA Fitness in the strip mall when a suspected gas leak caused the explosion…

“I thought it was a terrorist attack,” she said. “I saw when the windows exploded and the ceiling started falling down. It was something out of a movie.”

She and others rushed to safety. But days later Abbie is struggling with what she saw and how she feels. That’s why she came to a crisis intervention meeting at Central Park in Plantation Tuesday night.

“I wake up in the morning and I think ‘Ok, I’m gonna get up and it’s gonna be ok’ but I haven’t been able to get there yet,” Brian said.

CBS 4 News learned that dozens attended the emotional meeting and shared similar stories.

Slideshow: Gas Explosion Rocks Plantation Shopping Plaza

“We are grateful to be alive but it’s a nightmare now,” said Maria. “It’s a nightmare. We cannot sleep.”

Teri Dattilio said she and her husband suffered injuries when the explosion happened and they were lifting weights. She said the meeting was helpful because they learned others are also reliving the moment.

“It was nice to talk to people today who were feeling the same way,” Dattilio said.

Siobhan Edwards, president of the Greater Plantation Chamber of Commerce, said right after the explosion she sent emails to find employers who would hire some of the dozens of people left jobless by the explosion.

“These people are gonna be without a job. What are we gonna do?,” Edwards remembering thinking.
“As soon as those emails hit, we had calls on my cellphone. Renaissance Hotels manager, first person who called, I’ve got jobs, send them to me. It was amazing to me to watch the effect of people saying send them over to them we’ll find something, we’ll make something for them.”

Edwards said there are malls and shopping plazas offering space and incentives for businesses to move there, even temporarily.

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