BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One person is dead, four people were injured and one more person is still trapped under the rubble after a gas explosion in a northwest Baltimore neighborhood Monday morning.
The explosion happened in the 6500 block of Reisterstown Road near Labyrinth Road around 9:54 a.m. Three homes collapsed and the force of the explosion and debris blew out windows and doors in at least 16 nearby homes.
Baltimore City fire officials said a woman died and at least four others were taken to area hospitals to be treated, some with critical injuries. There are trying to rescue at least one more person trapped and are searching through the rubble for any additional victims.
Update: 6 people involved in W. Baltimore gas explosion includes 4 people transported in serious condition, 1 adult woman deceased, & FFs continue to rescue additional occupant. The cause is under investigation as we continue to search for any possible additional occupants.
— Baltimore Fire (@BaltimoreFire) August 10, 2020
A woman is carted away from the NW Baltimore explosion scene. Neighbors applauded. pic.twitter.com/88ib0JqMJJ
— Paul Gessler (@PaulGessler) August 10, 2020
City councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer said housing inspectors are on scene to inspect the homes in the area and that there’s been damage reported five blocks away.
The American Red Cross just arrived on scene to help with any displaced residents and to hand out water.
Baltimore County and Howard County fire crews are assisting Baltimore city fire with the search and rescue operation. Baltimore Gas & Electric is on the scene and the gas is being turned off in the immediate area. BGE crews are investigating what caused the explosion.
Tasha Jamerson, with BGE, said residents should continue to report if they smell gas. Call 1-877-685-0123.
ATF Baltimore has also arrived to help with the investigation.
ATF Baltimore Special Agents and Explosives Enforcement Officer are responding to assist our @BaltimoreFire partners at the scene of an explosion at Labyrinth and Reisterstown Roads involving 3 homes. Follow @BaltimoreFire for updates on this incident. pic.twitter.com/kyIsEAGHSI
— ATF Baltimore (@ATFBaltimore) August 10, 2020
In a Citizen app video you can see the immediate aftermath of the explosion of the scene. Note: Language is NSFW.
Three Rescued, Additional People Trapped After Three-Home Explosion @CitizenApp
Eyewitnesses told WJZ they heard a large boom and felt the ground shake for at least a four block radius. Debris was seen scattered in the roadway and there’s rubble where three homes stood.
“I heard a kaboom and I thought it was a car or something and when I came out, I seen the debris and something’s gone, totally gone,” one man told WJZ’s Paul Gessler.
Another man, Dean Jones, told WJZ when he heard the explosion he ran from his home without any shoes. When he arrived at where the explosion happened 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.”
He said he did all he could to help until first responders arrived. Jones said he smelled smoke and gas at the scene.
From Chopper 13, you can see just how large the explosion area is and you can see how far the debris spread.
Nearby residents are all out of their homes, sitting in the shade, shaken by what they just experienced. People are wearing masks to protect others from COVID-19, trying to stay safe while helping their neighbors.
At this point, they are awaiting word if they can go back inside their homes. Many don’t know what they’ll find once they go back inside.
Employees at the nearby Applebees told WJZ they could feel the explosion a couple of blocks away.
3-4 houses just exploded near Reisterstown plaza
— BMoore (@brice2x) August 10, 2020
I don’t know if Baltimore just had an earthquake or I’m tripping because my house definitely just shook
— JKill (@TheRealJKill) August 10, 2020
— Ian Bailey (@IanPaullBailey) August 10, 2020
Gov. Larry Hogan thanked first responders and said state officials are monitoring the situation.
We are closely monitoring the situation in northwest Baltimore following this morning’s horrific explosion. We have reached out to offer our full support to the ongoing response and recovery efforts, and are deeply grateful to the first responders on the scene.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) August 10, 2020