Rockbridge County neighbors mourn at scene of deadly explosion

3 dead, 4 hospitalized after gas station exploded Friday

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – Neighbors were able to get close to the South River Market on Sunday for the first time since Friday's deadly explosion.

The fence surrounding the gas station filled up with flowers in memory of the three people who died in the disaster.

"A lot of special people gone so quickly," said Jason Crawford, who lives nearby. "It's still hard sitting here and looking at it. It's somewhere I've been every day."

Crawford made his first journey to the scene on Sunday. His step-daughter Kaitlyn Smith felt the explosion inside her elementary school, which is less than a mile from the gas station.

"All of a sudden we heard this big bang," Smith said. "We thought that maybe somebody flipped over the dumpster outside of the school or maybe somebody hit the school."

Crawford says the community is staying strong, but it will take a long time to emotionally heal.

"The loss that the community took right now...it's unreal," Crawford site.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the victims of the explosion at this link.

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