Explosion shakes small town near Seattle

No victims were found after a gas explosion early Friday shook the town of North Bend, Wash., 30 miles from Seattle.

By Frances Burns

NORTH BEND, Wash., April 25 (UPI) -- An explosion blamed on natural gas destroyed three buildings in a strip mall in North Bend, Wash., but apparently caused no serious injuries.

The blast in the Seattle suburb shortly before 4 a.m. was felt and heard miles away.


“There was a big boom and I thought it was an earthquake,” Linda Crosson, who lives 5 miles away, told KIRO-TV in Seattle. “I called 911 and they said, ‘We just got a report that a gas station exploded.'"

In fact, the gas station next to the business strip suffered little damage. Authorities said that emergency workers who examined the scene believe the explosion occurred either in a pizza restaurant that was in the midst of renovations or a neighboring barber shop.

The blast demolished one building and knocked another from its foundation, destroying part of the structure. The third was burned to the ground.

Firefighters searched the rubble and found no victims.

Windows were broken and doors knocked off kilter in other buildings. Five vehicles at a tire shop also suffered heavy damage.

Josie Williams, a spokeswoman for the fire department, said Puget Sound Energy had contained any leaking gas.


North Bend is in the Snoqualmie Valley about 30 miles east of Seattle. Most of the exterior scenes for the cult ABC TV series "Twin Peaks" were shot in North Bend and the nearby towns of Snoqualmie and Fall City.

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