Huge gas line explosion in San Francisco creates inferno

/ CBS News

San Francisco — A gas line explosion caused an inferno in a San Francisco neighborhood on Wednesday, the city's fire department said. San Francisco Fire Department spokesman John Baxter said an unknown number of rescues were in progress.

The incident happened at the corner of Geary Blvd. and Parker Ave. around 1 p.m. Wednesday in the city's Jordan Park neighborhood, CBS San Francisco reported. A two-story building on a corner, the site of Hong Kong Lounge II restaurant, was in flames.

The fire reached a third alarm as of 1:50 p.m. A total of four buildings were involved, according to the fire department. Five workers who were missing have since been located.

A work crew using a backhoe was in front of the building at the time of the explosion. The backhoe was consumed by flames.

"We were in the store, we heard almost like an air noise," Michael, a worker at a nearby Verizon store, told CBS San Francisco. "It sounded like pressure was building up. I saw people running across the street so I ran out. We saw flames everywhere. Construction workers saying get back. They said someone is probably dead. I'm just hoping everything is okay."

San Francisco police have asked people in nearby buildings to evacuate and have closed neighboring streets in the Richmond District, The Associated Press reported.

MEDIA I APPRECIATE YOUR CALLS WE WILL UPDATE AT 1410 hours at Cook and Geary Street #020619WF2 pic.twitter.com/zrfNe71isN

— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT (@SFFDPIO) February 6, 2019

First published on February 6, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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