Last updated: February 19. 2013 6:51PM - 127 Views

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Dozens of building inspectors are assessing homes and businesses in western Massachusetts' largest city after a natural gas explosion leveled a strip club located next to a day care and heavily damaged a dozen other buildings.

The Friday evening blast in Springfield injured 18 people, many of them emergency workers. Their injuries aren't considered life-threatening.

Gas company workers had been sent to investigate a possible gas leak in the commercial and residential area, 90 miles west of Boston. The explosion occurred an hour later.

Authorities cordoned off the center of the explosion Saturday morning as building inspectors worked to identify unsafe structures.

Punta Cana restaurant manager Omar Fermin says the explosion shattered the business' floor-to-ceiling windows and made the area look like an earthquake zone.

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