BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two people were killed and seven people were injured in a gas explosion in a northwest Baltimore neighborhood Monday morning.

Crews continue searching the rubble with the help of K9 units to find any other victims. On Monday afternoon, they pulled another victim out of the rubble; no information on the person’s status is available.

Large equipment was also brought in to help move the debris out of the way.

LATEST: Baltimore Gas Explosion Kills 2, Injures 7; Crews Continue To Clear Rubble

A Community Rocked

The explosion happened around 9:54 a.m. along Labyrinth Road at Reisterstown Road near Brookhill Road. Three homes collapsed and the force of the explosion and debris blew out windows and doors in nearby homes.

Baltimore City fire officials said a woman and a man died and seven others were taken to area hospitals to be treated, some with critical injuries. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

A security camera caught the blast:

The fire department later reported the number of people injured to be seven.

One man told WJZ’s Paul Gessler that three members of his family were injured in the explosion, but all are expected to recover.

Reisterstown Road is closed between Clarks Lane and Fallstaff Road. Motorists are advised to take alternative routes. In addition, gas service remains off in part of the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road.

The gas infrastructure in the area dates back to the early 1960s and was last inspected in June and July 2019, Baltimore Gas & Electric said. Prior to Monday’s explosion, there had been no gas odors reported in the area.

RELATED STORIES:

City, Community Respond

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.

City crews helped residents board up damaged windows and doors while the American Red Cross helped displaced residents.

The group also has counselors present.

“Once we find out how many people cannot return to their homes, we’ll make arrangements for them to find a safe secure place to stay tonight, most likely a hotel,” Paul Carden with the Red Cross said.

On Tuesday, the Red Cross will work one-on-one with the families whose homes have been destroyed, who have injured family members or who have lost a loved one. Their services will include mental health, spiritual health, and health services. They’ll also have volunteers providing financial assistance information and referrals.

Residents displaced by the blast can visit two American Red Cross stations in the area. One is set up behind the Applebee’s restaurant, 6798 Reisterstown Road, and the other is at the Milbrook Park Apartments, 6806 Milbrook Park Drive.

Neighbors and other groups also handed out water and food. The group is also collecting donations of food and other essentials outside the Applebee’s.

BGE is investigating what caused the explosion.

BGE is grateful for the prompt and skilled response by the Baltimore City Fire and Police Departments and responding BGE crew members.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with those injured and the family members of the deceased. This remains an active emergency recovery effort led by the Fire Department.

Public safety is our first priority. Our crews have now inspected the Labyrinth Road gas main and canvassed all surrounding buildings. No gas readings were found in any of the buildings and no leaks were found on the Labyrinth Road gas main or services. Our crews are continuing to inspect area gas mains and services for safety and will make any necessary repairs if any issues are found.

All gas service is off to a portion of the 4200 block of Labyrinth Rd. This is a standard safety procedure to aid in emergency response efforts and to ensure safety. Some electric lines in the area were damaged and crews have repaired those lines to restore power to all nearby residents who lost power.

The cause of this morning’s explosion is currently unknown and we will be working with the Fire Department to investigate. BGE is committed to fully understanding the cause of this incident and will inspect all BGE equipment once rescue efforts are complete. This is an active investigation and we cannot speculate on the possible causes.

Our records indicate the following:

  • This area’s gas infrastructure was installed in the early 1960s.
  • No gas odors were reported prior to this morning’s event and BGE did not receive any recent gas odor calls from the block of homes that were damaged.
  • BGE’s most recent inspection of the gas mains and services in the area occurred in June and July of 2019 and did not identify any leaks.

Once again, we thank the emergency responders and we are committed to working with them to determine what occurred. Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and the family members of the deceased.

As always, anyone with any gas safety concerns should contact BGE from a safe location at 877-778-7798 or call 911. We will respond immediately to make the situation safe.

Tasha Jamerson with BGE said residents should continue to report if they smell gas by calling 1-877-685-0123.

As of 9:15 p.m. Monday, 38 customers were without gas service. More than 200 had been without power, but crews have since restored electricity to all but seven homes in the area.

Several fire companies from nearby counties, like Baltimore and Howard counties, are helping with the search, as well as the ATF, Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office, FEMA and the Red Cross.

Gov. Larry Hogan thanked first responders and said state officials are monitoring the situation.

In a statement, Hogan also said:

“This morning, an explosion destroyed three homes in the Reisterstown Station neighborhood in northwest Baltimore. First responders are still performing rescue operations, and several victims have been transported to area hospitals. So far, we know that the explosion has taken one life. Our prayers are with the victims and all those affected by this tragedy.”

“The Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, and the Maryland Public Service Commission are all assisting on the ground. We continue to offer the State of Maryland’s full support to local officials.”

Eyewitnesses React

A video posted on the Citizen app video shows the immediate aftermath of the explosion (Note: Language is NSFW).

Three Rescued, Additional People Trapped After Three-Home Explosion @CitizenApp

Brookhill Rd & Reisterstown Rd 9:48:20 AM EDThttps://citizen.com/static/scripts/embed.js

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 rubble sat where three homes once stood.

Employees at the nearby Applebees told WJZ they could feel the explosion a couple of blocks away.

“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 reporter 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.

Credit: WJZ/ Chopper 13

Chopper 13 showed just how large the explosion area is and how far the debris spread.

Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes, many sitting in the shade because of the heat. Many donned masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to stay safe while helping their neighbors.

WJZ reporters and other eyewitnesses at the scene said they smelled gas at the scene at various points throughout the day.

WJZ reporters Paul Gessler, Annie Rose Ramos, Ava-joye Burnett, Kelsey Kushner and Rachel Menitoff contributed to this report.

Stay with WJZ on this developing story. To get breaking news alerts, download our app now!

Paul Gessler

Comments (11)
  1. woodjesse48 says:

    Must have been a gas leak

  2. Living Sword says:

    Typical incompetence of gas and gas utilities. The rotten gas industry are murderers and the politicians who take their money are also culpable in this folly.

    1. King Julian says:

      chill

  3. donny says:

    Has Trump declared it to be an attack yet?

  4. Lori Graham says:

    I live on by Rogers and Liberty Heights about 2 miles away and our window shook. My husband and I went outside and looked as I thought something landed on the roof or it was a bad accident my Neighbor Momma Zollicoffer and she heard it so I knew it was not just something that landed on my house if she heard it. I then called my Mcquire on Gwynn Oak and he felt it. Then I heard MTA Mobility by plaza also felt it. My agency DPSCS behind Apple Bees said glass was shattered there. Then I got a call from family in Alabama who heard it on CNN news. They beat the local news coverage and that is how I saw it was an explosion. Prayers to the families. We also received two calls from Emergency COMM that updated us. I must say I am glad the City put the calls out as the impact was loud and people are concerned.

    Thank you

  5. nesapartners says:

    You know, I’m listening to how hot it is and how hard it must be for the workers. What about the people that had to work back in the 60’s, 70’s when they didn’t have the tents, fans, etc. Come on guys, quit being such a snowflake and do your darn job!

  6. Judo says:

    I’m so sorry for those experiencing this. I was involved in the Merrimack Valley Gas explosions in MA 2 years ago and it changed our lives. These gas companies do not get held accountable and continue to put peoples lives at risk. We were constantly told to “get over it” but when you live through it, the aftermath is difficult to describe

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is there such a thing as a natural gas detector, like a carbon monoxide detector, that would go off and warn occupants or neighbors or a gas leak & perhaps also notify the proper authorities? I know there is that nasty odor added to gas so people can smell it, but someone asleep or w/ a poor sense of smell never might. My great grandma in her 90’s left it on all the time, she could not smell it & would have things boil over and put out the flame on an old gas stove but the gas still was coming out & she would forget to turn it off

    This may not have been caused by the gas company, it could have been caused by a defective appliance inside the home or a person may have caused it trying to make a bomb, meth or whatever or to work on a gas line themselves. There is no reason to blame BGE at this point. They only get the gas to your house, someone else hooks up appliances to it and maintains them…or does not properly maintain them.

  8. Red Hat Harry says:

    We could be like Trump, he is so smart he immediately knew the yuge explosion in Lebanon was a bomb. Ask him. It was probably a bomb, yeah, an Antifa bomb, that’s the ticket!

    There is no point in speculation-let the experts do their investigation- they usually find out what caused fires & explosions.

  9. Larry Espey says:

    How can the gas company be held accountable when the problems are INSIDE the home where appliances are not properly maintained or used? Is it BGE’s fault when fires starts because people leave something on an electric stove and fall asleep or have unqualified person hook up a gas dryer, hot water heater or stove?

    There are all kinds of unqualified people trying to do work now due to COVID & people w/ reduced incomes willing to hire them because its cheaper. My neighbor’s drug dealer son got arrested again and he is passing himself off as an expert in lots of things trying to get money for a better lawyer when all he really is is someone who used to work for a landscaper cutting grass.

    Nobody knows yet what blew up anyhow and whos fault it is

  10. Nina Yabiz says:

    This is the second explosion of this kind in baltimore in two years. Last time was off of Charles St. The city leadership needs to get it together.

Leave a Reply