On Monday morning a deadly gas explosion rattled a Northwest Baltimore neighborhood, leaving at least one dead. According to local CBS affiliate 13WJZ, three homes in the area have also collapsed.
Little details are known, but what has been confirmed is that the explosion happened near Reistertown Road Plaza, a shopping center and mall known as “The Plaza” among locals. Several people, including children, are possibly trapped inside the rubble stemming from the deadly gas explosion, according to a local spokesperson who spoke on behalf of the fire department.
In addition to the three homes that were toppled in the Monday morning incident, local reports say dozens of other windows and doors have been shattered and blown out at nearby residences. Altogether, more than two dozen homes have been impacted by the explosion.
Those on the scene have identified the blast as “frightening,” as if “a bomb went off.” A total of at least six people have been seriously impacted by the explosion that took place a little before 10 a.m. In addition to the one life that was claimed, at least four people were critically injured and airlifted to the hospital. At the current moment, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) crews are working to turn off gas in the buildings and inspect BGE equipment on-site. Residents in the surrounding buildings have been instructed to wait until they receive an all-clear to go back inside.
“This is about preserving human life,” Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott told reporters on the scene before asking everyone to pour prayers and thoughts into the people handling the search and rescue intervention. “Everyone should be worried about one thing and one thing only — that we’re able to find people.”
Firefighters are continuing to search for any additional occupants who may have been impacted, while the cause of the gas explosion remains under investigation. It is considered a labor-intensive rescue as multiple homes were crumbled and a ton of debris has been left on the ground.
Baltimore City medical units and Baltimore County Fire Department units remain on the scene. This is a developing story.