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Simi Valley buildings evacuated after possible explosion

June 17, 2010 |  2:56 pm

A possible explosion in a commercial area of Simi Valley on Thursday afternoon has forced the evacuation of several buildings, authorities said.

There were reports that an explosion was heard at a building in the 400 block of Easy Street about 1:15 p.m., according to information from the Ventura County Fire Department.

“Additional reporting parties said they could see smoke and there is a partial building collapse,” Ventura County Fire Capt. Ron Oatman said.

Oatman said details were sketchy, but initial reports indicated  four people may have been in need of assistance, including at least one person who was trapped.

By 2:15 p.m., three people had been accounted for, Oatman said. Authorities were trying to determine whether there was “a fourth patient, and their location,” he added.

All buildings within a half-mile radius of the incident were being evacuated, Oatman said.

-- Ann M. Simmons