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Investigation shows Cantonment explosion came from nitrous oxide tanks

Cantonment explosion came from nitrous oxide tanks

An explosion at the Airgas facility yesterday afternoon in Cantonment leaves one person dead.

State investigators say the blast came from nitrous oxide tanks in the loading bay.

The person has not officially been identified, but we do know the victim is male. We're told there weren't many employees inside the facility during yesterday's explosion, as the company was running on a skeleton crew.

Crews found the man's body around 6:30 last night, hours after the explosion happened, just after noon. The body was found 50 to 75 feet from where the blast is believed to have happened.

"I heard something that sounded like a bomb," said Janice Parker, who lives near the facility. "I ran outside, my husband said he heard it also, so I ran in and called 911 because it wasn't like a gunshot. It was like a bomb had gone off."

Other people we talked to in the area said the explosion was so strong, it shook their homes. One person working in the building next door says it knocked him out of his seat. It didn't take long for a crowd to gather outside, as neighbors, friends and family members of workers who were inside the facility waited to hear if their loved ones were okay.

"Somebody called and told me, and I just started bawling, and I said, 'I have to go out there', so I came out, and we've been listening to the scanner," said Payne. "There's a big prayer chain going around this area, so we're praying for all these men and women."

The explosion was reportedly heard up to five miles away, no word yet on the cause. We told you he hasn't been officially identified, but several posts on social media do identify the victim. We won't be releasing that information at the moment, out of respect for the family.

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