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Witnesses report hearing loud booms after SpaceX rocket explosion

People say houses, windows shook

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – Residents and people who work nearby Veterans Memorial Park in Titusville say they heard several loud booms Thursday morning after a SpaceX rocket exploded at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base.

"We heard the windows rattling, couldn't see nothing," Shonda Reynolds said.

Reynolds grabbed her camera and headed to the park to capture images of the explosion's aftermath. The photos show dark, heavy smoke filling the air.

"There were several explosions, so it kind of reverberated just like it would have if it were a regular launch," a witness said.

But it wasn't a regular launch. Some witnesses say it didn't sound like others they have experienced.

"At first we thought it was thunder. It was huge. It was a different sound than a rocket going off," Ruth Neeld said.

Neeld stopped by the park on her lunch break to see if the smoke still lingered.

As the smoke started to settle over the cape and the sky cleared, many say it is a sign that Space X will move forward from this setback.

"Things happen. You hope nobody got injured, which nobody did, but this kind of business anything can happen," Jeffrey Benjamin said.

Amelia Boland caught sight of the explosion from her home nearby.

"I look out my window because I'm drinking coffee and I look up and I can see the fire. You can see the flames coming off the launchpad," said Boland.

Boland's brother works for the tracking and communication division at Cape Canaveral.

"I called up my brother who works out there," said Boland. "He's fine. Nobody got hurt".

Just across the river from the launch pad is a RV park. That's where Rick Carter heard the blast Thursday morning.

"I was inside watching television and the house shook and I thought it was thunder," said Carter. "I came outside and looked across the river and saw all the smoke. Hoping no one was hurt".

Jeff and Heidi Thamert said they felt that same rumble. It's a pricey loss but one Heidi says could have been a lot worse.

"It is a huge loss. Especially for the company that spent so much money on the satellite. And it's a shame but things do happen and you can't control everything. Just luckily there were no people hurt," said Thamert.

Visitors at Kennedy Space Center were still able to enter the center after the explosion. Bus tours were canceled for the day. They are expected to resume Friday morning.

People were seen going in and out of Space X's Cape Canaveral office building on Thursday, following their rocket's explosion.

Within seconds after Falcon 9 exploded, people in the area were calling into 911, wondering what they were hearing.

 "Hi, I'm down here in Edgewater and we heard a huge, loud noise that was almost like what you would heard when a shuttle would goes over," the caller said. "I mean it was like a loud noise, and then I saw these emergency vehicles go by. Do you know what's going on?"

Another caller described how forceful the explosion was.

"I have no idea where it was coming from, but it shook the window. It shook the door and window," the caller said.

A dispatcher in Volusia County was heard on 911 calls, telling callers that there have been no reports of an incident and to call back if they hear anything more.

Brevard County's Office of Emergency Management said that no county resources were called in to help after the explosion, adding Kenny Space Center's response team was already prepared.

"You could almost call it a self contained incident. They had the right man power and emergency services you know, at the Air Force station to apparently handle this situation," said Don Walker, with Brevard's Emergency Management.

Both Brevard Fire Rescue and Sheriff's Office also said they were not called in to help.

Space X has not given a cause for the explosion, but said the nearest employee was "miles" away.

No one was injured in the explosion.


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