Fire officials say a suspected natural gas explosion rocked a large South Los Angeles commercial building and hurled people into the street, wedging at least one man beneath a parked car.
Fire Capt Steve Ruda says the violent explosion shook the two story building housing a welding operation at 6:15 am on Friday and much of the structure collapsed. There were victims in the street when 100 firefighters arrived.
The explosion blew three people into the street. At least one person was pinned under the axle of a car.
They are hospitalised in unknown condition.
The fire was extinguished in 25 minutes and teams were searching the collapsed structure for possible victims. Ruda says search dogs were being sent in because the splintered wreckage of the building posed a danger to firefighters.