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BLAST damages Oklahoma City warehouse

Updated:
MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (AP) _ An explosion rocked an industrial warehouse Friday and sent debris flying into neighboring businesses.

No injuries were reported when the explosion occurred shortly before 3 p.m. at Eagle Industries, a company that produces fire extinguishers and provides sandblasting and other services.

The explosion blew out the rear of the warehouse and forced the evacuation of nearby businesses and homes.

Dianna Cochran, office manager for Mels Brothers Paving, said she was standing near the back wall of her business when a 15-foot cylinder that was blown into the air by the blast landed less than 10 feet away.

``The blast shook the building just like it did when they bombed the Murrah building,'' Cochran said.

``I thought something had hit our building,'' said Ron Davis, who owns Davis Painting and Collision.

Davis said he was standing in front of his business when the blast occurred and the shock wave nearly knocked him off his feet. He said he herded his customers inside his business while another worker ran to the Eagle warehouse to check on workers there.

Davis said there was no sign of fire, just smoke and fiberglass insulation in the air.

The odor of gas lingered in the area following the explosion. Local businesses were ordered to evacuate while the cause of the blast was investigated by Oklahoma Natural Gas and Midwest City police.

``I have 18 employees who are sitting in Braum's having a coke on me,'' Davis said.
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