Pinpointing the exact cause of Monday’s deadly gas explosion in Baltimore will take months, according to officials.
Two people were killed and at least seven were hurt, when three homes collapsed along Labyrinth Road at Reisterstown Road and Brookhill Road around 10 a.m. on August 10.
The deceased have since been identified as 61-year-old Lonnie Herriott and 20-year-old Joseph Graham, a Morgan State University student. Those injured include a 34-year-old man who’s in critical condition, as well as a 20-year-old man and a 65-year-old man who both remain hospitalized in stable condition. A 27-year-old woman, a 37-year-old woman, a 64-year-old man and a 93-year-old man have since been released from the hospital.
Baltimore Gas & Electric completed its inspection of the gas and electric equipment serving the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road on Wednesday, finding its equipment is not to blame for the explosion.
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“We have completed the inspection of BGE gas and electric equipment serving the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road in northwest Baltimore, ” BGE said in a statement. “BGE has found that all of its equipment—gas mains, gas service pipes and gas meters, as well as electric equipment—has been operating safely and was not the cause of the natural gas explosion that occurred Aug. 10.”
BGE said the affected homes passed its last inspections in June and July of 2019 and no gas leaks have been reported along Labyrinth Road since 2014.
Investigators will continue to examine customer-owned gas piping and appliances at the scene. They’re being led by the Baltimore City Fire Department and other local, state and federal agencies. A report is due to the state’s public service commission within 30 days.
You can also be proactive in natural gas safety by using your senses.
Check for a rotten egg smell, a hissing sound or signs of dirt blowing or dead plants and grass, which could be a visual sign there could be a leak.
“There are a number of things customers can be mindful of, but the main thing and the most important thing is if you smell gas, leave the building and call BGE right away,” spokeswoman Linda Foy said.
Additional findings from BGE, including a $25,000 donation to the affected community, can be read here.