Two people are now confirmed dead following a natural gas explosion that destroyed three row houses in Baltimore and sent seven people to the hospital, authorities said Tuesday.
Baltimore Fire Department spokeswoman Blair Adams said at a 9 a.m. news conference that a man was pulled from the debris shortly before 1 a.m. The discovery brought the death toll to two people. A woman had been pronounced dead at the scene shortly after Monday morning’s explosion.
Seven other people were taken to hospitals, with five of them in critical condition, Adams said. She said the conditions of the other two people were still being determined.
Photos: Explosion in Baltimore Destroys Several Homes, Leaves One Dead
About 30 residents in the area have used temporary shelter since the explosion, and more than 200 residents in the neighborhood were affected by the blast, Adams said.
Meanwhile, the exact cause of the explosion remains unknown.
The Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) said Tuesday afternoon that the investigation into the cause of the devastating blast is ongoing. The company inspected the gas main on Monday and found no leaks. No leaks at the properties had been reported in the past five years.
"The data is indicative of some type of issue beyond the BGE meter on customer-owned equipment and is currently being analyzed by investigators," BGE said in a statement.
Chopper4 footage showed staggering damage. Window frames were scattered across the grass and the remains of a wall and doorframe leaned against the wreckage. Boards, cinderblocks and household items were piled atop each other. Debris spilled across the roadway, into the yards of homes across the street and across the rooftops of multiple other homes in the row.
"It's a disaster. It's a mess. It's unbelievable," said Diane Glover, who lives across the street. The explosion shattered her windows and blew open her front door. "I'm still shaken up," she said hours later.
Glover, 56, and her 77-year-old father, Moses Glover, were at home when the massive explosion shook their house.
“I jumped up to see what was going on. I looked out the bathroom window and there was a house on the ground,” she said. “It sounded like a bomb went off.”
Seven people were killed and dozens injured when a gas leak caused an explosion in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 2016. The Baltimore explosion occurred four years to the day after the explosion at the Flower Branch Apartments.
Investigators there found a faulty gas regulator was to blame and the buildings have since been rebuilt. A lawsuit with Washington Gas was settled in 2019.