A natural gas explosion destroyed three homes in Baltimore, killing a woman and trapping other people in debris. At least four people were hospitalized with severe injuries as firefighters searched for more survivors.
Dozens of firefighters crowded piles of rubble. He opened a fourth house in a row, and shattered windows in neighboring houses, littering the neighborhood with debris and glass.
“It’s a disaster. This is chaos.” “It’s unbelievable,” said Diane Glover, who lives across the street. The blast shattered her windows and opened her front door, bending the structure. Hours later, she said, “I’m still shaking.”
A firefighting spokeswoman said that four residents of the house were taken to hospitals in critical condition, while she announced the death of an adult woman at the scene. Rescuers were narrowly passing through the wreckage by hand. About two hours after the explosion, a row of firefighters took a person on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.
A Baltimore Fire Department spokeswoman, Blair Adams, said at least five people were inside, and possibly more, when the homes exploded.
“They were under the rubble,” said Adams. “You have homes that have largely collapsed … a ton of debris on the ground. So, we’re pulling in and trying to comb to see if we can find any additional occupants.”
While the cause was not immediately clear, the Baltimore Sun reported last year that a dangerous gas leak is becoming more and more frequent, with nearly two dozen detected each day on average, according to utility reports to federal authorities. The newspaper said that Baltimore Gas and Electric has thousands of miles of aging pipes that need to be replaced, a nearly $ 1 billion effort that takes two decades.
Utilities spokeswoman Linda Foy said BGE has stopped gas operations in the vicinity after receiving an “initial call” from the fire department at 9:54 am on Monday.
“We are on the site and are working closely with the fire department to make the situation safe,” she said, without answering any questions from reporters. “Once the gas is turned off, we can begin to safely assess the situation, including inspections of BGE equipment.”
Glover, 56, and her father, Moses Glover, 77, were at home when the big bang shook their home, knocking a fan and some of her DVDs.
“I jumped to see what was going on. I looked out the bathroom window and there was a house on the floor. It looked like a bomb had exploded.”
Neighbors scrambled toward the rubble, demanding survivors. Kevin Matthews, who lives in the building, told The Sun that he could hear the trapped children screaming: “Come and take us! We were stuck!” Then firefighters and police officers appeared and took charge.
The BGE requested the Maryland Public Service Commission in 2018 to approve a new gas system infrastructure and cost recovery mechanism to pay for the upgrades needed to close several system leaks.
“BGE was founded in 1816, and is the nation’s oldest gas distribution company. Like many older gas systems, a greater portion of the main gas infrastructure and services consists of cast iron and bare steel – which are outdated materials and are prone to failure with age,” he said. Attached.
When old tubes fail, they tend to grab the headlines. Last year, a gas explosion destroyed the facade of an office complex in Maryland, Colombia, affecting more than 20 companies. No one was injured in the explosion, which occurred early Sunday morning. In 2016, a major gas outage resulted in the eviction of Baltimore County Courthouse. Under Armor Inc. To vacate its Baltimore office after a major gas outage in 2012.