Another Shopping Center Gas Leak Probed

Emergency crews called to scene

By Megan McGrath
|  Monday, Sep 28, 2009  |  Updated 8:33 AM EDT
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Crews dig for clues at a Forrestville shopping mall.

Crews dig for clues at a Forrestville shopping mall.

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Photos and Videos

Fire Department Films Strip Mall Explosion

A fire department camera caught the explosion of the Penn Mar shopping center. Watch the incredible explosion.

Firefighters Recount Strip Mall Explosion

Firefighters at the scene of Thursday's strip mall explosion recall the surprising event.
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It is the same scenario: a major natural gas leak at The Penn Marr shopping center in Forrestville, Md. Only this time, the problem was caught before there was a huge explosion.

Washington Gas crews were digging holes and taking air readings Monday morning to find out what caused a leak that prompted the evacuation of 13 stores on Sunday.

Emergency crews were called to the scene after high levels of natural gas were discovered inside the Marshalls and the adjoining eyeglasses store. Gas and electricity were shut off and the stores were ventilated. No one was injured.

That was not the case last May, when nine firefighters were injured while responding to a gas leak at the other end of the shopping center.

The huge explosion was captured on videotape. The blast blew off a large section of the roof and sprayed emergency crews with glass and debris. That section of the mall is still closed.

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