UPDATED 7:55 AM PT – Thursday, December 24, 2020
Authorities in Maryland are investigating an explosion at the Baltimore Gas and Electric building, which ignited a fire and injured several people. The explosion took place downtown Wednesday around 8 a.m. local time. Eyewitnesses said it sounded like an earthquake.
The explosion trapped two-window washers on a large piece of scaffolding, which was seen dangling 12 stories above a busy sidewalk.
When the Baltimore City Fire Department arrived on the scene, Chief Niles Ford said they were met with injured people on the ground, injured window washers clinging to their safety lines and an active fire on the 16th 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
Overall, 23 people were rescued from the building. 21 of those rescued were transported to local hospitals for treatment with some in critical or serious condition.
“Now we’re at the point where we’re trying to wrap things and the process of demobilizing the units as quickly as possible,” Chief Ford stated amid the situation on Wednesday. “And trying to make sure this situation is as safe as possible.”
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott released a statement later that day, thanking first responders for securing the area and rendering aid. Scott said, “without their bravery and quick response, the outcome could have been much worse”.
As of Thursday morning, crews were still seen working to remove the scaffolding in a safe and timely manner.