NATIONAL NEWS

1 Dead, 4 Rescued After Gas Explosion Levels Baltimore Homes

Aug 10, 2020, 9:13 AM | Updated: 11:15 am
A house exploded in Baltimore, Maryland, on Aug. 10, 2020 (Photo: Baltimore County Fire Department)...
A house exploded in Baltimore, Maryland, on Aug. 10, 2020 (Photo: Baltimore County Fire Department)
(Photo: Baltimore County Fire Department)

BALTIMORE (AP) — A natural gas explosion destroyed three row houses in Baltimore on Monday, killing a woman and trapping other people in the wreckage. At least four people were hospitalized with serious injuries as firefighters searched for more survivors.

Dozens of firefighters converged on the disaster scene, where the natural gas explosion reduced to the homes to piles of rubble. A fourth house in the row was ripped open, and windows were shattered in nearby homes, leaving the neighborhood strewn with debris and glass.

“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.

Four of the homes’ occupants were taken to hospitals in serious condition, while an adult woman was pronounced dead at the scene, a fire spokeswoman said. Rescuers were painstakingly going through the wreckage by hand. About two hours after the explosion, a line of firefighters removed a person on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.

Baltimore Fire Department spokeswoman Blair Adams said at least five people were inside, maybe more, when the homes exploded.

“They were beneath the rubble,” Adams said. “You have homes that were pretty much crumbled … A ton of debris on the ground. So, we’re pulling and trying to comb through to see if we can find any additional occupants.”

While the cause wasn’t immediately clear, The Baltimore Sun reported last year that dangerous gas leaks have become much more frequent, with nearly two dozen discovered each day on average, according to the utility’s reports to federal authorities. The Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has thousands of miles of obsolete pipes that need to be replaced, an effort that would cost nearly $1 billion and take two decades, the newspaper said.

BGE turned off the gas in the immediate area after receiving an “initial call” from the fire department at 9:54 a.m. on Monday, utility spokeswoman Linda Foy said.

“We are on the scene and working closely with the fire department to make the situation safe,” she said, without answering any questions from reporters. “Once the gas is off, we can begin to safely assess the situation, including inspections of BGE equipment.”

BGE asked the Maryland Public Service Commission in 2018 to approve a new gas system infrastructure and a cost recovery mechanism to pay for upgrades needed to close the system’s many leaks.

“Founded in 1816, BGE is the oldest gas distribution company in the nation. Like many older gas systems, a larger portion of its gas main and services infrastructure consists of cast iron and bare steel – materials that are obsolete and susceptible to failure with age. According to BGE, about one-third of the Company’s gas mains and services in use on the gas distribution system are over 50 years old,” the utility said.

Glover, 56, and her 77-year-old father, Moses Glover, were at home when the massive explosion shook their house, knocking over a fan and some of her DVDs.

“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.”

Neighbors scrambled toward the rubble, calling out for survivors. Kevin Matthews, who lives on the block, told The Sun that he could hear trapped children shouting: “Come get us! We’re stuck!” Firefighters and police officers then showed up and took over.

___

Associated Press contributors include Mike Kunzelman in Silver Spring, Brian Witte in Annapolis, and Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Aerial photograph of the dominant fissure 3 erupting on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa, taken...
Caleb Jones and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Associated Press

Hawaii volcano eruption has some on alert, draws onlookers

The first eruption in 38 years of the world’s largest active volcano is attracting onlookers to a national park for “spectacular” views of the event, and it's also dredging up bad memories among some Hawaii residents.
8 hours ago
A steeple was blown off a church in the community of Steens, Mississippi, after a strong storm move...
Associated Press

Storms cause major tornadoes, flooding around the South

Residents in several towns across Louisiana and Mississippi have taken cover amid the blare of tornado sirens amid a severe weather outbreak erupting in the Deep South.
8 hours ago
Cecily Aguilar pleaded guilty to being involved in covering up the death of Army Spc. Vanessa Guill...
Joe Sutton, Matt Phillips and Amir Vera, CNN

Cecily Aguilar pleads guilty in connection with death of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen

Cecily Aguilar, who was arrested in 2020 in connection with the disappearance of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, pleaded guilty Tuesday to being involved in the cover-up of her death, according to CNN affiliate KWTX and an attorney for Guillen's family.
1 day ago
The download page for ByteDance Ltd.'s TikTok app is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in S...
Stella Chan and Leslie Perrot, CNN

South Dakota governor bans state employees from using TikTok on government devices

South Dakota's governor signed an executive order on Tuesday banning state agencies, employees and contractors from accessing TikTok on government devices
1 day ago
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards sponsored by Harr...
ANDREW DALTON, AP Entertainment Writer

Kim Kardashian and Ye settle divorce, averting custody trial

Kim Kardashian and Ye have reached a settlement in their divorce, averting a trial that had been set for next month.
1 day ago
Kilauea volcano...
Amir Vera, Holly Yan and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

2 new lava flows cascade down Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano

The rare sight of two neighboring volcanoes erupting simultaneously became even more astounding Tuesday as new lava flows gushed down slopes on Hawaii's Big Island.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
1 Dead, 4 Rescued After Gas Explosion Levels Baltimore Homes