CHANDLER, AZ — Four people have been badly injured in an explosion and roof collapse at a Chandler strip mall that prompted a massive response from local fire crews and widespread evacuations.
Chandler Fire Department crews responded to the scene around 9:45 a.m. near Rural and Ray roads, and found the roof collapsed and fire burning at a printing shop in the center.
Four people were inside at the time, fire officials confirmed. All were transported to nearby hospitals in either serious or critical condition, having suffered blast and burn injuries.
In a news conference just before 11 a.m., officials said 100 firefighters were on scene helping to evaluate the situation and secure the area. They also said 20 to 30 homes and 15 businesses in the nearby area were being evacuated as a precaution.
It is unclear at this time what led to the explosion. Workers with Southwest Gas are at the strip mall investigating for a possible gas leak.
“Guys we’re evacuating everything, the fire marshal says this building could blow up. Gas leak…”
A Tempe officer is moving people further away from the Chandler strip mall at Ray & Rural.
— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) August 26, 2021
Aerial video from over the structure showed extensive damage, and debris scattered around the surrounding parking lot.
Stick with ABC15.com for updates on this developing story.