BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A makeshift memorial with American flags and stuffed animals marks the site where two people lost their lives in a natural gas explosion in northwest Baltimore.
Just a few blocks away from the pile of devastation is a reminder of the two lives lost in an instant.
“I just felt, though, that we should acknowledge them,” said neighbor Arianne Burroughs.
Morgan State University confirmed one of its students, 20-year-old Joseph Graham, died in the blast along Labyrinth Road. The rising sophomore was pursing an engineering degree; he was among two who died.
Graham’s body was pulled from the rubble early Tuesday morning. A woman told WJZ that a man kept returning to the scene Monday waiting for rescuers to find his nephew.
Joseph Graham’s mom loved this photo of him…the one where he’s wearing the red hoodie.
His family told us he was ambitious, kind and smart.
— Avajoye Burnett (@AvajoyeWJZ) August 12, 2020
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.
The news of two confirmed deaths sent shock waves through the neighborhood Tuesday.
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Members of one local church offered to pay for the funeral costs.
Baltimore Gas & Electric was back on the scene Tuesday. The company said no leaks were found when they inspected the gas main and service pipes. They also found no issues on their side of the equipment.
“As of right now it appears the issues were on the customers side of the meter,” said Linda Foy, with BGE. “That data is being analyzed right now.”
BGE is starting to restore services to homes in the area Wednesday.
The Empowerment Temple AME Church will be holding a prayer service at 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the Applebee’s in the Reisterstown Road Plaza.