Discuss as:

Gas explosion kills 1, injures 3 others in Los Angeles

A gas cylinder exploded in an industrial area south of downtown Los Angeles Wednesday, killing one person and injuring three others, authorities said. 

The blast occurred in a building tucked behind a meat market and a bakery at about 6:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. ET) Wednesday, said Mario Rueda, deputy captain of the L.A. fire department.


One person died after being taken from the scene, Police Capt. William Hayes said. The three others were taken to hospitals, one of them in critical condition and two in fair condition.

Citing neighbors, the L.A. Times reported that some of the victims had suffered severed limbs.

Rueda said he could not say what kind of business it was or what type of gas was in the tank.

'Covered in blood'
Bermis Meat Market manager Ayman Eldik said two women pounded on the backdoor of his business, which is located off a shared alleyway with the other business, which doesn't have a storefront or signage.

"They were covered in blood," said Eldik, gesturing up and down his torso.

One woman had severe foot injuries and Eldik said he grabbed bags of ice to help her and had a coworker call 911.

Eldik described the business as "cars, body parts, something" with a shrug, saying he didn't pry and wasn't sure.

A large delivery of the cylinders had arrived at the business around noon Wednesday, blocking part of his driveway, Eldik said.

The blast was in a largely vacant industrial zone about a mile northeast of the University of Southern California campus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More content from msnbc.com and NBC News:

Follow US News on msnbc.com on Twitter and Facebook