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Gas Explosion at Northeastern U. Hurts 7

April 6, 2005

BOSTON (AP) _ A natural gas explosion sent flames shooting through a Northeastern University dormitory Wednesday, injuring seven people and severely damaging the six-story brick building.

Victims were treated for broken bones, cuts and burns, but no one was seriously hurt, said Richard Serino, Boston’s emergency services director.

A Boston Fire Department spokesman said the explosion probably was caused by a gas leak in the boiler room of Kerr Hall.

Alex Zinni, a 23-year-old from Mansfield, said he was eating lunch when black smoke and orange flames filled the second-story dining hall.

``I was tossed up, tossed down, and I heard people say, ’Go!‴ said Zinni, who was unhurt. ``I felt like I was lifted.″

Kerr Hall houses dormitories and a faculty center. The injured included students, faculty, staff and a utility worker sent to investigate the gas leak.

The building was evacuated because of suspected structural damage; damage was estimated at $800,000.

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