Explosion destroys south Georgia coffee shop, injures 3

Photo: GA Department of Insurance

HOMERVILLE, Ga. – Georgia authorities say an explosion Friday destroyed a Homerville coffee shop and injured three people.

Glenn Allen, a spokesman for Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, said investigators do not suspect foul play in the blast that rocked the Clinch County city at about 12:15 p.m. Friday.

Allen's office said a fiber optic construction crew was digging in the area around 10 a.m. when they struck a natural gas line as well as a sewer line connected to Coffee Corner. Officials said gas leaked through the sewer system into the coffee shop and a spark in the kitchen ignited the explosion. 

"The building is destroyed," Allen said.

Officials said a customer and two employees were inside at the time of the explosion. All three were airlifted to a hospital in Gainesville, Florida, with burns. Their conditions were not immediately known.

On the city's Facebook page, Homerville officials on Friday asked residents to avoid the downtown area.

Homerville, the county seat of Clinch County, had about 2,500 residents in the 2010 census.