Rescuers have pulled a second body from the rubble of the Baltimore gas explosion where one woman was killed and another seven were hospitalized.
The body of an adult male was recovered from the site of the deadly blast just before 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, taking the number of fatalities up to two.
One woman was found dead and seven seriously injured in the hours after the gas explosion that rocked the neighborhood at Labyrinth and Reisterstown Road Monday morning.
The shock blast ripped through and completely flattened three row homes, sparking a massive rescue operation that involved drafting in more than 200 emergency personnel in a desperate search for survivors.
Rescuers have pulled a second body from the rubble of the Baltimore gas explosion where one woman was killed and another seven were hospitalized. Pictured emergency responders on the scene Monday
Debris and rubble covers the ground in the aftermath of the deadly blast that ripped through and completely flattened three row homes in Baltimore Monday morning
Fire Department spokesperson Blair Adams said at a press conference Tuesday morning there are no other reports of missing persons and it is now a recovery – not a rescue – mission.
‘Right now we are working on a recovery effort,’ Adams said.
‘This was a really tough time for the community, for the residents of this neighborhood and the fire department.’
Of the seven surviving victims, five remain in a critical condition in hospital, she said.
The identities of the two people killed have not been released, but they have been confirmed as an adult male and adult female.
The ages and genders of the seven people in hospital have also not been released.
On Monday night, one distraught man told the Baltimore Sun his 20-year-old nephew was missing after going to one of the three flattened homes for a party the night before the blast.
Neighbors gathered outside the explosion site Monday morning. The body of an adult male was recovered from the site of the deadly blast just before 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, taking the number of fatalities up to two
Emergency responders pictured combing through the rubble of the three homes to look for survivors Monday. One woman was found dead and seven seriously injured in the hours after the gas explosion that rocked the neighborhood at Labyrinth and Reisterstown Road Monday morning – and the body of another victim was found early Tuesday
The shock blast ripped through and completely flattened three row homes, sparking a massive rescue operation that involved drafting in more than 200 emergency personnel in a desperate search for survivors
Joseph Graham, a student at Morgan State University, stayed the night in the home after the party and his family members had been unable to reach him after the explosion, his uncle Isaac Graham told the Sun.
Joseph’s aunt Sunshine Evans also told ABC 2 WMAR Baltimore Monday night he was one of three relatives who had been inside one of the collapsed homes.
The other two – her other nephew Damon Evans and his mother – had been rescued and taken to hospital, she said.
The explosion ripped through the community just before 10 a.m. Monday morning, leveling three homes and leaving a fourth with its side ripped off.
Horrifying images of the aftermath showed bricks and rubble were all that remained where the homes once stood.
The windows in more than a dozen nearby properties were blown out from the force of the explosion and residents reported hearing the blast several blocks away.
Shocked neighbors heard children screaming for help from the rubble before the emergency services arrived on the scene.
Initial reports said five people, including children, were trapped under the flattened homes.
Soon after the blast, Baltimore Fire confirmed the body of a woman was found and that three others had been taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Health workers transport a body at the scene of the blast Monday. Fire Department spokesperson Blair Adams said at a press conference Tuesday morning there are no other reports of missing persons
Firefighters transport an injured person on a stretcher at the scene of the explosion in the residential area Monday. It is now a recovery – not a rescue – mission, officials said Tuesday
Children were heard screaming for help after the deadly explosion leveled three homes
More than 200 emergency responders combed the scene for survivors throughout the day, finding four other survivors during the intense mission and the body of a man early Tuesday.
At one point, firefighters were seen using a chainsaw to cut through the roof of a collapsed building and search dogs were brought in to look for signs of life.
One eyewitness Kevin Matthews, who has lived on Labyrinth Road for 28 years, told the Chicago Tribune he rushed to the scene of the explosion just after 10 a.m. and could hear the cries of children trapped under the homes.
‘Come get us! We’re stuck!’ he heard children screaming from the rubble before the emergency services arrived.
He said he ran from his home barefoot after hearing the blast and could smell gas and smoke.
‘It was catastrophic. It was like a bomb, like you watch things in other countries where they have like bombings and things like that,’ Dean Jones told CBS Baltimore.
BEFORE: A view of the homes before they were destroyed in the blast
‘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.’
Another survivor Major Watkins Jr., an 88-year-old army veteran whose home was completely destroyed in the explosion, told The Baltimore Sun the blast ‘sounded like Korea.’
Around 30 residents were given temporarily shelter Monday night and would not be able to return to their homes Tuesday, amid fears the neighboring properties could also be in danger of collapse.
Nearly 200 people in the surrounding area were affected by the explosion.
An investigation into the cause of the blast is ongoing.
Baltimore Fire confirmed it was a gas explosion Monday but the details remain unclear.
The identities of the two people killed have not been released, but they have been confirmed as an adult male and adult female
Neighbors look out at the carnage from the blast. Baltimore Fire confirmed it was a gas explosion Monday but the cause remain unclear
Shocking images from the scene Monday the homes completely reduced to rubble while the windows in nearby properties are blown out in the wake of the blast that was heard several blocks away
Baltimore Gas and Electric reported that no gas leaks have been found in the main on Labyrinth Road or any surrounding buildings.
The gas system infrastructure in the area dates back to the early 1960s, and BGE asked the Maryland Public Service Commission in 2018 to approve a new 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,’ BGE said at the time.
The blast comes after a series of other gas leaks in Maryland in recent years amid ongoing complaints that the infrastructure is in need of repair.
Last year, a gas explosion ripped the front off an office complex in Columbia, housing more than 20 businesses.
The explosion occurred on a Sunday morning, meaning no one was in the building at the time and there were no victims.
This followed a gas main break in 2016 which forced the evacuation of the Baltimore County Circuit Courthouse and a similar evacuation at the offices of Under Armour after a gas main break in 2012.