WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Four years to the day before residents in northwest Baltimore were jolted by a deadly gas explosion, another Maryland community was rocked by a similar tragedy.

On August 10, 2016, an explosion occurred at the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring, killing seven people and injuring dozens more. The National Transportation Safety Board later blamed the incident on faulty gas equipment.

As Baltimore cleaned up from Monday’s blast, U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation asking for an update on the federal efforts put in place after the tragedy in Silver Spring.

The two-page letter, sent to Howard “Skip” Elliott, the administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, urged the agency to follow through with its safety plans and provide an update as to where they stand.

“Although four years have passed since this accident, we must not lose sight of the safety concerns that it raised, but remain committed to addressing them,” the senators wrote.

The letter asked for an update on a number of items recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board, including whether the agency has sent out a bulletin with requirements for inside gas meters and the steps it has taken to encourage companies to move gas meters outside of buildings where possible.

The explosion, which killed two people and injured seven more, happened around 9:54 a.m. along Labyrinth Road at Reisterstown Road near Brookhill Road.

The cause of Monday’s blast in Baltimore remains under investigation.

CBS Baltimore Staff

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