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story.lead_photo.caption People walk in a damaged area about a block away from the site of a Friday-evening gas explosion that leveled a strip club in Springfield, Mass., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. Investigators are trying to figure out what caused the blast where the multistory brick building housing Scores Gentleman's Club once stood. - Photo by Jessica Hill / AP

— The state fire marshal said a gas company worker responding to reports of a gas leak in western Massachusetts punctured a pipe that led to a massive explosion that injured 18 people.

Authorities on Sunday did not name the worker who caused the natural gas blast in Springfield, one of New England’s largest cities. Friday’s explosion there flattened a strip club, heavily damaged a day care center and scattered debris over several blocks.

Some officials called it a miracle that no one was killed.

Most of the injured were part of a group of gas workers, firefighters and police officers who ducked for cover behind a utility truck just before the blast. Part of the neighborhood already had been evacuated because of reports of a gas leak and odor.

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