WASHINGTON — Investigators Friday will be looking for those who are missing after a deadly blast that destroyed a Silver Spring, Maryland, apartment building Wednesday night.
Fire Battalion Chief Dan Ogren said crews also will look into the cause of the explosion that left two dead and dozens worried about where they will live. About 100 people have been displaced.
“We have the best indication right now that there are at least five people that are unaccounted for,” Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett told WTOP Friday morning.
Roughly 80 to 90 investigators from county police and fire marshal’s office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and National Transportation Safety Board will be on the scene, said Ogren.
Residents reported smelling gas prior to the explosion, and officials responded to calls for a potential gas leak at the complex last month.
“We too believe there might be some connection to the natural gas but that has not been confirmed,” Leggett told WTOP.
In all, 34 people, including the three firefighters, were taken to hospitals for treatment. Hospital officials said most of those were released Thursday.
Many of those who lived in the Flower Branch Apartments recently moved to Silver Spring from Guatemala and El Salvador. Some have documents allowing them to be in this country, while others do not
Montgomery County continues to work to reunify families at Long Branch Community Recreation Center located at 8700 Piney Branch Rd.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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