PLANTATION (CBSMiami) — An open gas valve is to blame for a massive explosion that rocked a Plantation shopping center last month.
The July 6 blast damaged or destroyed many of the businesses at the Market in the 1000 block of South University Drive.
A state report released Friday says there was an open natural gas valve inside the vacant Pizzafire restaurant.
The valve was turned on shortly after 7:00 a.m. on July 6, more than four hours before the blast, according to the report.
The explosion was likely triggered when an air conditioner turned on, states the report.
Pizzafire, which had been out of business for several months, was destroyed, and nearby businesses and cars were damaged, including a popular and crowded fitness club.
The explosion hurled large pieces of concrete and debris up to 50 yards away and sent pieces of metal as far as 100 yards across the street.
The state says they have not reached a final conclusion and don’t know how the valve got opened.
Firefighters reported ruptured gas lines at the scene the day of the blast.
Twenty-two people were hurt in the explosion.