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They say firefighters and gas company workers are among more than a dozen injured people.
The explosion in a downtown area of Springfield blew out all windows in a three-block radius, leaving three more buildings damaged beyond repair and prompting emergency workers to evacuate a six-story apartment building that was buckling.
Police Sgt. John Delaney says it looks as though there was a missile strike where the explosion leveled the multistory building at its epicenter.
Officials at two nearby hospitals say a total of 16 victims were transported with injuries but none was critical.
Firefighters responded to the scene at 4:20 p.m. and were investigating a gas leak when the blast happened shortly after 5 p.m.
Friday, November 23 2012, 08:59 PM CST
Man facing extradition for murder claims innocence
June 17, 2013 20:24 GMT
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A former U.S. Marine facing extradition to the Philippines on double murder charges says he is innocent.
Timothy Kaufman has been in jail since his arrest in April at business near his grandfather's Albany-area home. The 35-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., is one of three men charged by Philippine authorities with killing a retired Northern Ireland police officer and his girlfriend in 2011.
Authorities claim it was a premeditated killing in an area known for its sometimes-seamy club scene.
In a handwritten letter sent to the media from jail, Kaufman says he would never do something as "heinous and stupid" as killing the couple. He says he left the country after the killings because he feared for his safety.
An extradition hearing is scheduled for June 25 in Albany federal court.
Oil rises past $98 on Syria, ahead of Fed meeting
(AP) -- The price of oil has edged above $98 a barrel.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS CLAIM SURVEILLANCE NOT AS EXTENSIVE AS FIRST THOUGH
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top U.S.