Officials said about two dozen people were rescued Wednesday morning after an explosion in an office building in Baltimore City.
Firefighters and ambulances responded to the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company building on Center Street after the explosion, with twenty-one people taken to hospitals shortly before 8:30 a.m., Baltimore City Fire Department said.
The department had earlier said on Wednesday that nine people were in critical condition and one was in critical condition. Officials said two people were pulled to safety from a window-washing platform, which was precariously at the front of the building after the explosion.
Mayor of Baltimore Brandon M. Scott said, “Right now we need to pray for the people who were inside this building and are praying that all of them be healed quickly and completely.” Told reporters at the scene.
The explosion occurred on the 16th floor of a 21-story building, A. Baltimore Fire Association said. Baltimore Area Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Said on twitter Its special agents were at the scene to assist the city’s police and fire officials.
In Statement On Wednesday evening, the BGE said the explosion “appeared to be related to construction work that was taking place on the building’s air handling and boiler systems” and that “it was not related to natural gas.”
The company also said that the building’s gas service was shut down while work was being done.
“The building was largely vacant due to upcoming holidays and epidemics,” BGE said.
A BGE spokeswoman, Stephanie Weaver, said on Wednesday evening that 21 construction contractors were treated at a hospital for injuries, none of which were life-threatening. Twelve of those injured contractors had already been released, she said.
The fire union said two workers were rescued after being stuck on a window cleaning platform. Video from a local tv station Showed the stage swinging At one angle as flames broke the windows to reach the workers.
A worker was pulled from a 10th floor window. A firefighter climbed onto the stage and pulled another worker through a window on the 11th floor, Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles R. Ford told reporters at the scene. He said those activists were “in fairly decent condition”.
“The building has been affected from the 10th floor to the roof and many contractors were working in the building,” he said.
City officials Closed lanes In the area and urged drivers to take alternate routes.
Aji Pebarah contributed reporting.