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Crime & Safety

Baltimore High-Rise Explosion: 21 Hospitalized, Officials Say

A construction-related incident at a BGE building Wednesday morning caused a partial roof collapse, authorities said.

More than 20 people had to be rescued from an office building that houses BGE off West Fayette Street Wednesday, Dec. 23, according to the Baltimore City Fire Department.
More than 20 people had to be rescued from an office building that houses BGE off West Fayette Street Wednesday, Dec. 23, according to the Baltimore City Fire Department. (Google Maps)

BALTIMORE, MD — Multiple people were hospitalized Wednesday morning after an explosion at a high-rise in downtown Baltimore, officials said. Nearly two dozen people were rescued, according to authorities.

"This morning, an explosion at the BGE Building ignited a fire near the top of the building, trapping people on the surrounding scaffolding," Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "The Baltimore City Fire Department remains on scene as the cause of the explosion is still under investigation."

Crews rescued 23 people, including two who declined to be taken to the hospital, the Baltimore City Fire Department reported. Firefighters continued searching the building, officials said before 11:45 a.m.

Emergency personnel were first called to the building off West Fayette Street before 9 a.m.


A spokesperson for BGE said the incident at its offices at 2 Center Plaza was construction-related.

"Construction work was occurring on the building's air handling and boiler system, which likely caused the incident," Stephanie Ann Weaver said on behalf of BGE.

"Window washing scaffolding was compromised because of the incident, and a window washing crew was pulled to safety by the fire department," Weaver said.

An explosion on the 16th floor had trapped two workers in scaffolding, according to the Baltimore Firefighters Union IAFF Local 734, which was called to rescue them.

The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting with the investigation.


INITIAL REPORTS: An explosion has been reported at a high-rise Wednesday morning in Baltimore. Special operations crews have been called to help with the rescue.

About 21 people were rescued and 10 were hospitalized after the explosion in the 100 block of Fayette Street, according to Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. He said the cause remains under investigation, in a report after 10:30 a.m.

One person was in serious condition and nine others were in critical condition, according to the Baltimore Fire Department, which reported at least 10 people had been taken to area hospitals for treatment by 9:45 a.m.

There is evidence of an explosion on the 16th floor of a building in the unit block of West Lexington Street, according to the Baltimore Firefighters Union IAFF Local 734.

Two workers were trapped in the scaffolding, the firefighters union reported before 9 a.m.

Two people were being treated on the ground for burns, according to authorities.

Six people were injured, and two people have been rescued, fire officials told WBFF before 9:30 a.m.


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