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21 Injured, 9 Critically, In Explosion At Baltimore BGE Building; Company Says

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — At least 21 people were taken to area hospitals after an explosion at the Baltimore Gas & Electric building in downtown Baltimore Wednesday morning.

Eyewitnesses told WJZ they heard and felt a large explosion just before 8:30 a.m. Then, they saw scaffolding fall from the building in the 100 block of West Fayette Street.

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The city’s firefighters union said when crews arrived, they “were met with injured people on the ground, injured window washers clinging to their safety lines 12 stories up, and an active fire on the 16h [sic] floor of a hi-rise building.”

A total of 23 people were rescued from the building; 21 were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Two people refused treatment. Of those injured, nine are critical and one is in serious condition.

None of those who were injured were BGE employees, the company said.

The two contractors who were cleaning the building windows were left clinging to the remaining scaffolding on the Lexington Street side of the building for about 30 minutes. They were later rescued by the fire department’s special operations team, who broke a window on the 10th and 11th floor and pulled the men through.

The building’s roof also partially collapsed; despite that, the building is still structurally sound, BGE said Wednesday evening.

Crews will repair the damage to the roof and windows to prevent further damage from the weather.

The incident happened on the 16th floor, according to the city firefighters’ union.

WJZ saw multiple people being brought out of the building on stretchers. Two of the injured were being treated on the ground for burn-related injuries before they were transported to an area hospital.

Crews still must remove the remaining scaffolding left on the building.

Fire Chief Niles Ford said crews will do this methodically and slowly to make sure the scaffolding is safely removed.

Most of the building was empty due to the upcoming holidays and the pandemic. Firefighters swept the building after the incident to make sure no one else was inside.

WATCH BELOW: Baltimore Officials Give An Update On Explosion At BGE Building

BGE said construction work was underway on the building’s air handling and boiler system and that likely caused the incident. The company added it does not believe the explosion was gas-related.

Here’s the full statement from BGE:

“On Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, a construction related incident occurred at BGE’s offices at 2 Center Plaza in downtown Baltimore. The incident appears to be related to construction work that was occurring on the building’s air…

Read More: 21 Injured, 9 Critically, In Explosion At Baltimore BGE Building; Company Says

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