Explosion in South Lake sends 3 to hospital

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. - An explosion at Denny's restaurant in South Lake Tahoe rocked the area of Al Tahoe and Lake Tahoe boulevards at around 3 p.m. Saturday, breaking windows and sending three people to the hospital.

The source of the explosion is under investigation. Officials said it may have been caused by natural gas.

While the cause of the explosion inside the restaurant remains under investigation it is not considered a criminal matter, said police Sgt. Shannon Laney.

"It blew out the front windows and the back wall," Laney said. "It'll probably be shut down for a couple of days. They have to do some work in it. It's amazing no one was seriously hurt."

The explosion knocked out a portion of the front end of the building facing Lake Tahoe Boulevard, exposing beams and shattering glass.

Three people were hurt in the explosion, receiving cuts. One person was reported as a 20-year-old male, who was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital for shrapnel to his body, according to police scanner reports.

A nursing supervisor at Barton Memorial Hospital reported three people were treated and released for cuts suffered from the explosion.

The source of the explosion has not been identified other than a potential gas leak. The matter does not appear to be criminal in nature, according to a South Lake Tahoe police officer.

Dozens of people, including a class from the Lake Tahoe Fire Academy, stood outside the building to watch as crews mopped up the scene.

A building inspector and a fire inspector were onsite Saturday, sifting through the rubble.

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