More than 200 responders are still searching for signs of life after a gas explosion completely destroyed three homes at Labyrinth and Reisterstown Road in Baltimore. Children were heard screaming as windows in over a dozen nearby properties were blown out.
Six people were seriously injured and one female was pronounced dead at the scene after the deadly blast, according to Baltimore Fire.
The identities and conditions of the victims have not been shared but the president of the firefighter’s union said many people were ‘fighting for their lives.’
Photos from the scene show homes completely destroyed and windows of nearby houses blown out.
One neighbor, Kevin Matthews, said to the Chicago Tribute that he rushed to the area and heard the screams of children trapped under the wreckage.
“Come get us! We’re stuck!” he heard before rescuers arrived.
Other witnesses said to CBS Baltimore they felt the ground shake and heard a loud boom.
“I heard a kaboom and I thought it was a car or something and when I came out, I seen the debris and something’s gone, totally gone,” one woman expressed.
Another neighbor, Dean Jones, told the news outlet: “It was catastrophic. It was like a bomb, like you watch things in other countries where they have like bombings and things like that.”
Jones added: “It was like watching that in real life. Telephone poles split, I mean, houses down the block, broken glass.
“When I initially got there, I could hear a voice just saying help. It’s crazy. It’s something I don’t ever wanna see ever again – I don’t want to relive it ever again.”
Firefighters pulled three people trapped under the rubble and another person was pronounced dead at the scene. Two more victims were rescued and were taken to hospital in serious condition, according to authorities.
Baltimore fire chief Niles Ford described the incident as a ‘horrendous situation.’
Blair Adams, the spokeswoman for the city fire, also said: “It’s a labor intensive rescue. Again, it was a major gas explosion so you had homes that were pretty much crumbled – a ton of debris on the ground that we’re trying to comb through.”
Baltimore Gas and Electric spokesperson, Richard Yost, said in a statement: “We are on the scene and working closely with the fire department to make the situation safe.
“Crews are working to turn off gas to the buildings in the immediate area. Once the gas is off we can begin to safely assess the situation including inspections of BGE equipment.”
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