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Police Investigating What Caused Deadly Coral Gables Explosion

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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – A 41-year old car washer was killed in a violent explosion at a Coral Gables gas station Saturday.

Henry Salcedo died after an air compressor blew up in the garage of the Gables 76 gas station at 296 Andalusia Avenue.

"We just heard like a big explosion.  Almost like a bomb," described one eyewitness.

"Boom!  Like a big old gas tank just exploded," explained another.

You could see debris all over the gas station, car parts and glass everywhere.   Debris even blew 50, 60 yards away across the street toward the miracle theatre building.

People on miracle mile and at nearby businesses and restaurants immediately ran to see what happened.

"I felt it.  I felt it, heard it.  It shook everything. It was crazy," said one restaurant worker.

"It was such a huge explosion," said Marilyn Zonsa, another worker.   "Nobody can go over there now but when we saw there was just debris everywhere.  From the sound of it, it was just so massive, the impact of it."

"It's sad man, it's sad," said worker Victor Brown.  "Man got hit by the thing and shot the man into the wall and all that stuff just piled up on top of him."

"I didn't see his body.  All I could see was his shoe and it wasn't with him," added Zonsa.

The gas station owner and her employee who was in the convenience store at the time were both very shaken.

But the owner did tell us the man killed washed cars under the orange awning attached to the garage, the car wash renting the space from her.

Police say Salcedo had just called his boss to tell him about the malfunction.  Moments later the compressor exploded.

"It's just scary.  I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy," said Brown.

Coral Gables Police and Miami-Dade Police are investigating.

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