Weather Alert

Deadly explosion rocks Baltimore neighborhood, destroys homes

At least one person was killed in a “major” gas explosion that leveled several homes in northwest Baltimore Monday morning, fire officials said. A woman was found dead and five people were injured, four of whom were transported to the hospital in serious condition, according to a Baltimore City Fire Department spokesperson.

Firefighters could be seen searching through debris of three homes that collapsed in the blast just before 10 a.m.. One of the victims was pulled out of the rubble after a search and rescue operation, said the spokeswoman, Blair Adams. The person was responsive as they were being carried away on a stretcher, and neighbors were heard applauding, reports CBS Baltimore. 

An active rescue was still underway early Monday afternoon for another victim. Adams said firefighters had their “eyes on” the person but did not know their condition.

Search operations were underway for more possible victims, Adams said.

“You have homes pretty much crumbled, there’s a ton of debris on the ground,” Adams said at a news conference. “We’re combing through to see if we can find any additional occupants.”

Adams described the blast as a gas explosion but said the exact cause is still under investigation. Baltimore Gas & Electric is on the scene and the gas is being turned off in the immediate area, the station reports.

“We are on the scene and working closely with the fire department to make the situation safe,” Baltimore Gas & Electric spokeswoman Linda Foy said. “Once the gas is off, we can begin to safely assess the situation, including inspections of BGE equipment.”

The blast blew out windows in nearby homes, reports CBS Baltimore.

Eyewitnesses told the station they heard a large boom and felt the ground shake.

One man, Dean Jones, told the station he ran from his home without any shoes when he heard the blast. When he arrived at the scene, he could hear someone saying “help” from under the rubble.

“It was catastrophic. It was like a bomb, like you watch things in other countries where they have like bombings and things like that,” Jones said. “It was like watching that in real life. Telephone poles split, I mean, houses down the block, broken glass. When I initially got there, I could hear a voice just saying ‘Help,’ it’s crazy. It’s something I don’t ever wanna see ever again; I don’t want to relive it ever again.”

Jones said he could smell gas.

Another witness, who identified himself only by his first name, Albert, told the station he heard a trapped woman “begging for help” and tried to move a massive amount of debris to get to her before firefighters arrived. He said he saw another man emerge with skin wounds and a fractured ankle from the rubble of another home, and he could see directly into the home’s basement.


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