BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore officials say another person died after a gas explosion Monday off Reisterstown Road.
On Tuesday morning, they said the body of a man was pulled from the rubble overnight around 1 a.m. Fire officials previously said a woman was killed and seven others injured in the blast. That man was identified as Joseph Graham, a rising sophomore at Morgan State University.
Baltimore fire officials released the identity of the the second victim Wednesday: 61-year-old Lonnie Herroitt.
Seven others were injured including a 34-year-old man who’s in critical condition. A 20-year-old man and a 65-year-old man remain hospitalized in stable condition. While a 27-year-old woman, a 37-year-old woman, a 64-year-old man and a 93-year-old man were all discharged from the hospital.
Emergency operations crews are continuing their recovery effort at the scene, clearing the rubble along the way. Officials, however, said there aren’t any reports of missing people related to the explosion.
“We want to make sure that every home is structurally safe, and that the power can be restored and everything is safe before the residents return,” said an OEM official.
The hope is residents will be able to get inside their homes to collect their belongings.
“We’re just making sure that the community continues to remain safe and we’re praying for those who are still in the hospital at this time,” fire spokeswoman Blair Adams said.
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Thirty residents used the temporary shelter overnight and over 200 residents were affected by the explosion.
“I want to thank the community leaders and the community-at-large for coming together to help on this explosion,” said Mayor Jack Young. “The outpouring from businesses and just about everybody you know just great.”
“I don’t know how to describe it because it’s something that I’ve never, ever witnessed in my lifetime, you know, like everything that could have happened since I’ve been mayor has happened,” Young said. “I’m just asking that the community at large in the city at large, come together in prayer for those who are still in the hospital, and just pray for healing for this entire community and for the whole entire city of Baltimore.”
City Council President Brandon Scott, and Democratic nominee for mayor, said he wants to city to focus on how neighbors helped neighbors Monday.
“We hear a lot about Baltimore and about the negative of Baltimore, but in this tragedy like we had here yesterday you saw the true spirit of Baltimore,” Scott said. “You had Baltimoreans rushing to try to save their neighbors from something that you just don’t expect to see in a city. You just don’t expect to see that and I want everyone to understand that when you always hear about the negative or how about Baltimoreans don’t care about each other — think about what happened on the street yesterday.”
“That’s what I’m thankful for, and thankful for Baltimore always showing that Baltimore cares about itself and it takes pride in this community, but most importantly that we love each other, especially in the midst of a tragedy,” he added.
The explosion happened around 9:54 a.m. along Labyrinth Road at Reisterstown Road and Brookhill Road. Three homes collapsed and the force of the explosion and debris blew out windows and doors in nearby homes.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but on Tuesday BGE said its data is “indicative of some type of issue beyond the BGE meter on customer-owned equipment and is currently being analyzed by investigators.”
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.
Tasha Jamerson with BGE said residents should continue to report if they smell gas by calling 1-877-685-0123.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with those injured and the family members of the deceased,” BGE said in a statement Monday.
Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted his condolences Tuesday as another victim was killed.
“We are deeply saddened that another Marylander lost his life in yesterday’s horrific explosion in northwest Baltimore. We continue to pray for the families of the victims and for all those injured and displaced by this terrible tragedy,” Hogan tweeted.
We are deeply saddened that another Marylander lost his life in yesterday’s horrific explosion in northwest Baltimore. We continue to pray for the families of the victims and for all those injured and displaced by this terrible tragedy.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) August 11, 2020
A security camera caught the blast Monday.
Road closures remain in the area as crews continue their work. Motorists are advised to take alternative routes. In addition, gas service remains off in part of the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road.
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 an American Red Cross station set up behind the Applebee’s restaurant at 6798 Reisterstown Road.
Neighbors and other groups also handed out water and food. The group is also collecting food and other essentials outside the Applebee’s.
Yesterday’s tragedy received an overwhelming support from community members & orgs. & we couldn’t be more thankful! At this time we have plenty of clothing to assist residents. If donating, please donate water/beverages & sealed food items. For more info, contact @BaltimoreOEM pic.twitter.com/3dXuPwyHeo
— Baltimore Fire (@BaltimoreFire) August 11, 2020