Early Wednesday morning, an explosion rocked a commercial building in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. 23 people were injured, and a window washing crew’s scaffolding was damaged, stranding the workers on a dangling platform.
The fire department stated that the cause of the blast is still under investigation, but the explosion looks to have been on the 16th floor of the building. The Baltimore Gas and Electric company is located on that floor.
Explosion Update: A total of 23 victims were rescued from the explosion in the 100blk of W. Fayette St. 21 of the victims were transported to area hospitals & 2 victims declined. #BCFD members continue search the bldg. The cause remains under investigation. pic.twitter.com/STKTnArlS1
— Baltimore Fire (@BaltimoreFire) December 23, 2020
The building was largely empty when the explosion happened. The gas service to the building was turned off because of the construction project.
The blast caused a partial roof collapse. 21 construction workers were injured and transported to a nearby hospital.
According to Fox News, “Utility spokeswoman Stephanie Anne Weaver said work on the building’s “air handling and boiler system” likely caused the accident.”
Weaver credited firefighters with the rescue of the window-washing crew. “Window washing scaffolding was compromised because of the incident, and a window washing crew was pulled to safety by the fire department.”
According to the Baltimore Fire Department, at least 9 of the injured were in critical condition.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott released a statement and thanked the Baltimore Fire Department for their swift and effective response, saying “without their bravery and quick response, the outcome could have been much worse.”