Wasilla explosion that injured man and demolished building likely due to gas leak, troopers say

a trooper car
An Alaska State Trooper K-9 Unit SUV. (Alaska Public Media file photo)

A commercial building in Wasilla exploded Sunday afternoon, likely due to a natural gas leak, according to Alaska State Troopers.

One person was injured in the explosion and listed in critical condition at a local hospital, troopers wrote in an online statement Monday.

The blast damaged nearby homes, and residents 10 miles away or farther felt it, according to eyewitnesses and accounts on Facebook.

A woman who identified herself on Facebook as the wife of the owner of Connoisseur Lounge, a cannabis retail shop, wrote that the injured man was a contractor checking on a newly built part of her husband’s shop.

“The new construction that was being built is completely gone, all the way down to the foundation,” Trisha Torborg wrote.

Troopers did not name the business located in the building, but agency spokesman Austin McDaniel confirmed it was considered a total loss.

“The building that the explosion originated from was destroyed, completely,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel said investigators with the state Fire Marshal’s Office continued to investigate what caused the explosion, but evidence at the scene and interviews indicated a gas leak.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at cgrove@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Casey here

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