Displaced Springfield Residents Look to Return Home

By Stephania Jimenez
|  Saturday, Nov 24, 2012  |  Updated 10:23 PM EDT
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Displaced Springfield Residents Look to Return Home

Leaders in Springfield called it “The Miracle on Worthington.”

The gas explosion on Worthington St. in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts displaced dozens and turned some businesses into rubble. However, no one was killed as a result of the blast.

Tonight, many wondered what’s next.

“The thought ran across my mind—‘is it the end?’” said Jeremiah Scannell, who was displaced because of the explosion.

Scannell feels lucky. He was in his apartment on Worthington St., when the gas explosion happened mere yards from his building.

“I was startled, and I opened the door. The exit was free, so I exited the building quickly.

Scannell hasn’t been back home to survey the damage to his apartment, and it may be a while before he’s allowed back in.

“They were saying possibly three weeks before we can go back.”

Scannell plans to stay at a shelter until he can return home. He’s among the dozens who have been displaced. However, residents aren’t the only ones feeling cramped from the blast.

Nearby businesses also sustained heavy damage. Even buildings that stand blocks away from the site had to be completely boarded up because their windows were shattered.

According to building inspectors, three buildings may have to be demolished. Inspectors spent Saturday checking out more than 60 structures in the area, to make sure they were intact.

Meantime, investigators are still working to determine what caused the blast. They believe an electrical spark may be the culprit.

“That could be a telephone ringing, a doorbell,” said Sheila Duron, from the Columbia Gas Company.

For now, the city is focused on cleaning up after the mess.

“We’re very resilient, we’ll get through this,” said Mayor Domenic Sarno.

That’s good news for Scannell, who is eager to return home, soon.

“It’ll be nice to get back. You make the best of the day as you can.”

At least 20 people were injured as a result of the explosion. None of the injuries were critical.

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