At least three people were injured, two seriously, after an explosion and fire Saturday morning at a shopping center in Harrisonburg, Va., Authorities said.
The cause of the explosion was unknown, Michael Parks, a spokesperson for the city, located about 130 miles northwest of Richmond, told a press conference. He said the two-story mall was a “total loss”.
Firefighters were still at the mall, which consisted of around four businesses, including a music store and recording studio, looking for anyone who may not be located, Parks said.
Some nearby buildings were damaged but not badly in the explosion, which was reported around 8:30 a.m. Some businesses in the mall have confirmed that their employees are safe.
“We received information from our owner that the store was destroyed by an explosion,” a representative from one of the stores, Hometown Music, wrote on Facebook. “We were not open and the employees are doing well. Thank you for your concern and your prayers. … That’s all I know for now.
Another store, Blue Sprocket Sound, wrote on Facebook: “We do not yet have full details of what happened in our building. But right now our crew is safe, and that’s the most important thing. Our hearts go out to other businesses in the area and we would like to thank all of the hard working first responders on the scene. “
Christopher B. Jones, city council member, called on residents to pray for affected business owners, injured and rescuers. “We are praying for them and hope that everyone comes out safe and sound,” he said.