Baltimore authorities responded Monday morning, Aug. 10, to a major gas explosion that erupted in the northwest part of the city, destroying homes and killing one person and injuring at least six others.
The Baltimore City Fire Department said on Monday afternoon that intensive rescue efforts were underway to recover people who may still be trapped in the debris of three brick row houses that were completely leveled in the blast.
Four people were taken to the hospital in serious condition and firefighters were working to free one other injured person from the rubble. According to The Washington Post, children were among those trapped in the debris.
Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E), which supplies natural gas to the homes, responded to reports of a gas explosion just before 10 a.m. CBS Baltimore reports that the blast occurred at 9:54 a.m.
In addition to the three collapsed homes, the force of the blast blew in windows of other houses along the street. Aerial footage of the blast aired by Washington DC’s WJLA-TV shows a large area of the 6500 block of Reisterstown Road near Labyrinth Road reduced to rubble.
BG&E said it shut off the gas supply in the area and that crews were at the scene of the blast inspecting the utility’s equipment for clues
For many people, the explosion brought back memories of another major gas explosion in the state that killed seven people and injured more than 60 others. The explosion, which occurred four years ago to the day on Aug. 10, 2016, was triggered by a failed mercury service regulator and an unconnected vent line that allowed natural gas to escape and accumulate in the meter room of a unit of the Flower Branch apartment complex in Silver Spring.
Natural gas explosions are surprisingly common in the U.S. From 1997 to 2017, an average of 15 people were killed every year in accidents related to gas distribution systems. According to federal data, “significant incidents” – those that result in an injury or death, cause at least $500,000 in damage, and/or result in an explosion or fire, occur 286 times per year.
Lawyers at Beasley Allen work on similar cases where people suffer serious injuries or are killed through the negligence of others. If you have a claim involving serious injuries, contact us and a lawyer in our Personal Injury & Products Liability section will be happy to talk with you. Mike Crow and Ben Locklar are experienced in handling these types of premises liability cases.