A large-scale explosion at the Baltimore Gas and Electric Building in downtown Baltimore ripped through the top floors of the structure, blasting through the roof. A partial collapse of the roof occurred as well as damage to the top floors of the building. The Baltimore Gas and Electric Building explosion has resulted in at least 21 casualties. All 21 injured individuals were rushed to area hospitals shortly after the explosion. The explosion occurred at the power company administrative headquarters on December 23, 2020.
Of the injuries, nine people are listed in critical condition and one person is said to be in serious condition. The remaining injured individuals are being treated for what thus far have been classified as less serious injuries. As of Wednesday afternoon, no one had died as a result of the explosion.
The powerful explosion also tore scaffolding loose on the side of the building. Two workers were on the scaffolding between the 10th and 11th floor of the building at the time of the blast. The scaffolding was left dangling on the side of the building, being held in place vertically rather than horizontally, with the two workers partially tethered to and hanging on to the equipment.
Firefighters were able to break through windows on the 10th and 11th floors, near where the workers were literally left handing. One of the workers was able to be brought through the broken window on the 10th floor to safety. A firefighter ended up having to climb what remained of the collapsed scaffolding to the 11th floor. He pulled the second worker through a broken window on the 11th floor to safety. The workers on the scaffolding evidently experienced no physical injuries as a result of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Building explosion.
The Baltimore Gas and Electric Company was quick to issue a press release regarding the explosion and injuries sustained as a result of the blast. The company advised that “the incident was not natural gas related. The building's gas service was not active due to the construction work.” With that said, the company also made the statement that there were “no life-threatening injuries” when in fact at least nine people were reported by emergency medical personnel, area hospitals, and the Mayor’s office to be in critical condition.
Special agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms have been dispatched to the scene together with the Maryland State Fire Marshall. These agencies are assisting local Baltimore police and fire authorities in the investigation of the explosion. Little is known about the cause of the explosion as of Wednesday afternoon.
What has been revealed is that the building was largely empty at the time of the blast. The lack of people in the building was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact that the incident occurred directly before the beginning of the Christmas holiday, and because there was construction work going on in the building.
The construction work at the building involved the boiler system and the air handling system. The focus of the investigation appears to be on the construction that was underway at the site.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott was on the scene of what may be a construction accident. He also released a statement regarding the injury-causing Baltimore Gas and Electric Building explosion:
“This morning, an explosion at the BGE Building ignited a fire near the top of the building, trapping people on the surrounding scaffolding. The Baltimore City Fire Department remains on scene as the cause of the explosion is still under investigation. Thanks to the swift action of our Fire Department, 23 people have been rescued, 21 of whom have been transported to area hospitals. Nine are in critical condition, one is in serious condition and no deaths have been reported.”
If you or a loved one have been injured in an explosion accident or a construction accident, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you at (800) 349-0000. A nationwide law firm, we’ve offices across the country. We can also schedule a virtual case evaluation with an explosion accident lawyer or a construction accident lawyer at your convenience online. There is no charge for an initial consultation. The Doan Law Firm never charges an attorney fee unless we win for you.