Several people were injured in an explosion at the Spring Hill Inn in Mansfield, Connecticut on Saturday, Oct. 21. At the time, the Inn was the location of an event hosted by the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry, reports WFSB.com.
According to police, six people were injured when a mystery explosion rocked the building. At least one person was transported to Hartford Hospital by Life Star. Although the injuries reported so far are non-life threatening, the incident was traumatizing.
The evening of the incident, the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry was hosting an event to raise money for a mission for “providing basic needs to our neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet,” per the organization’s facebook event page. A silent auction was planned for the charity.
“It was just an awful experience,” Victoria Nimirowski, a member of Windham Area Interfaith Ministry, told WFSB.
As many as 75 were expected to attend the event, and at the time of the explosion, only 25 were inside the building.
“All of a sudden this wind and whooshing sound, the door flew open and I heard glass breaking and a boom,” said Nimirowski. “I heard everyone was running out so I ran out with them.”
Witnesses inside the building reported smelling the faint odor of gas, but it didn’t alarm them. Some of the attendees were burned, but all the people injured were conscious and alert following the explosion.
According to the Mansfield Fire Department, the source of the explosion appeared to be in the kitchen as food was prepared by caterers.
“The damage was in the kitchen area, but there was no active fire or sustained fire so the damaged was not severe fire wise,” Mansfield Fire Department Chief Fran Raiola told WFSB.
Six workers were hurt, Fire Chief Raiola said. Two of them sustained serious burns, while the others were minor.
“It can always be worse,” said Raiola. “People were injured, but I think we did a good job taking care of them and getting them to the hospitals.”
Members of the ministry expressed awareness that it could have been worse, and were grateful. “We are lucky that was the worst of it,” said Nimirowski.
The exact cause of the explosion is still unknown.