Explosion destroys businesses in Bozeman


An explosion in Bozeman, Montana, damaged several downtown businesses Thursday morning, but there were no immediate reports of injuries, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.

At least four businesses were destroyed in an explosion that was apparently caused by a natural gas leak and windows of several downtown buildings were shattered by the force of the blast, the newspaper said.

The blast, which reportedly also sent debris high into the air, was centered on a restaurant called Boodles. Shock waves were felt blocks away.

The explosion forced a precautionary evacuation of homes and businesses within a three-block radius as fire workers attempted to contain flames created by the blast.

In addition to firefighters, police from local, county and state sources were on hand to help in the emergency situation.

City officials were centering their investigation on a 12-inch gas line that runs a half-block north of Main Street, although the exact cause was still unknown.

[Image via Bozeman Daily Chronicle]