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Old 03-04-2005, 02:23 PM
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Petco Store's Roof Collapses After Explosion
POSTED: 12:12 pm EST March 4, 2005UPDATED: 12:36 pm EST March 4, 2005

EATONTOWN, N.J. -- The roof of a Petco building collapsed Friday after an explosion caused by workers who damaged a gas line outside, police said. Authorities said they were trying to rescue people trapped in the store's rubble.

Police Capt. George Jackson told a television station in New York that nobody had been killed in the explosion, which took place about 11 a.m. in this Monmouth County community.

Jackson said two of the six people who had been in the pet supplies store at the time of the blast were taken to a hospital.

"We believe there are people trapped," said Harry Conover, director of emergency management for Monmouth County.

In addition, about 100 to 200 small animals and many more fish likely were inside the building, said Ursula Goetz, director of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is a few blocks away.

She said her agency had offered help to police and county officials and had vans and staff ready to remove animals from the destroyed building. The animals would be brought to the SPCA shelter or to local veterinary hospitals for medical treatment.

"As soon as we can have access, they will notify us," said Goetz, noting that police had told SPCA workers to stay away while they rescued trapped people.

She said the store has exotic birds, guinea pigs, ferrets, gerbils, mice and other small animals as well as fish.

"They just opened a grooming facility, so I don't know if they have customers' animals there," Goetz said.

Jackson said the explosion occurred after construction workers damaged an unmarked gas line outside the store, and then smelled the odor of gas.

A Petco spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Authorities have called for a search-and-rescue team from Fort Dix army base to respond to the one-story building, which is near Monmouth Mall.
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Old 03-05-2005, 07:14 AM
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I saw this on the news last night Last I heard nobody died. What a freak
accident...
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:18 AM
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Poor little animals! I sure hope there weren't any pets there being groomed at the time too! Keep us posted if you see anything else, please.
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:03 PM
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they said that 100 animals died from being like crushed and stuff 100 died from being frozen and the rest as far as they know got loose
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