A major gas line explosion rocked an area northwest of Baltimore on Monday morning, leaving at least one person dead and four injured, officials said.
The blast – near Labyrinth and Reisterstown Roads – happened before 10 a.m. ET and killed at least one woman, according to the Baltimore City Fire Department.
City fire force spokesman Blair Adams told reporters around noon, shortly after the fire force had just pulled a fourth wounded civilian out of the wreckage.
Firefighters believe they are close to finding the fifth wounded, according to Adams.
“As of now, it is not clear what caused the explosion. We are continuing to look for any more residents,”; Adams said.
“It was a very laborious rescue. Again, it was a huge gas explosion so you have pretty much ruined houses – tons of debris on the ground that we’re trying to clear up. control. “
Three homes appear to have been wiped out in the blast, as firefighters frantically sifted through the wreckage in search of more potential victims.
“We are on the scene and working closely with the fire department to keep the situation safe,” said Baltimore Gas and Electric Company spokesman Tasha Jamerson in a statement.
“The crew are working to turn off the gas for buildings in the nearby area. After the gas runs out, we can safely begin to assess the situation including testing the equipment. BGE. “
The firefighters were in full gear as they fought debris and the 90 degree heat with high humidity during the day made it feel like 100 degrees.
President Rich Langford of the International 734 Local Fire Protection Association told NBC News: “It was a lot of work by hand, a lot of hard work. “It’s extremely hot and our guys are trying to get the job done.”
This is a growing story, please refresh here for updates.
Janhvi Bhojwani contributed.