At least five people who say they are victims of the weekend explosion at a Plantation shopping plaza plan to file a lawsuit, their attorney said Tuesday.
Lawyer William Lewis held a news conference to announce that he's representing the five alleged victims, but said no lawsuit has been filed as the cause of the explosion remains under investigation.
"This type of event should never, ever happen," Lewis told reporters. "It's an issue of fundamental public safety."
More than 20 people were injured in Saturday's explosion, which hurled large pieces of concrete up to 50 yards away and sent pieces of metal scattering as far as 100 yards across the street as it destroyed a vacant pizza restaurant and left other businesses damaged. The restaurant, called PizzaFire, had been out of business for several months.
A spokesperson for TECO Peoples Gas said a worker at a nearby restaurant had reported a gas smell at the shopping center shortly before the explosion. The gas company was "in the process" of dispatching a technician when the explosion happened, the spokesperson said.
Though firefighters found ruptured gas lines afterward, authorities said it was too early to determine a cause.
In the meantime, 19 businesses remained closed Tuesday, as owners said they were busy filing insurance claims. Tom Dobravolskis, who owns Zona Fresca, said he's trying to save the jobs of 15 people.
"I'm trying to employ every one of them in our other restaurants and integrate them even if we don't need them, we feel we have a sense of duty and livelihood and we'd love to keep them when we reopen this restaurant, which I hope is soon," he said.