One woman was killed and several others were injured in what authorities described as a major gas explosion Monday in a northwest Baltimore neighborhood that sparked a search for people who may be trapped.
Four people were transported to a hospital in serious condition following the blast involving three row homes, the city fire department said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Fire department personnel “continue to search for any possible additional occupants,” the statement said.
The local firefighters union earlier reported that at least five people, including children, had become trapped.
Video shows several residential lots covered with piles of scattered debris, the homes completely flattened. Neighboring homes were seen with broken windows and damaged walls.
“It was a major gas explosion so you have homes that pretty much crumbled,” fire department public information officer Blair Adams said at a news conference.
The exact cause of the blast, which took place just before 10 a.m., was not immediately determined, Adams said.
Adams said he couldn’t confirm that children remained missing, but said search efforts were ongoing.
Residents said they could feel the explosion at least four blocks away.
“I heard a kaboom and I thought it was a car or something,” a woman told station WJZ-TV, “and when I came out, I seen the debris and something’s gone, totally gone.”
A representative with the American Red Cross, speaking to reporters at the scene, said the organization is working to help residents affected by the blast by providing hotel transportation, food, and mental health and financial assistance.
“Right now we’re providing a safe place for residents to stay,” said Paul Carden, director of emergency and international services for the Red Cross, who described it as a “long, complex recovery process.”
Representatives from the city fire and police departments did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Baltimore County Fire Department spokesperson confirmed that its personnel and equipment were assisting.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.