At least 10 people were injured Wednesday morning, nine seriously, in an explosion at an office building in downtown Baltimore that caused part of its roof to collapse, authorities said.
Firefighters and ambulances responded to the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company building on Center Street after the explosion, which was reported shortly after 8 a.m. The injured were taken to hospitals, the Baltimore City Fire Department said.
Nine people were in critical condition and one was in serious condition, the department said. Mayor Brandon M. Scott of Baltimore said on twitter that 21 people were saved.
It is not immediately clear what caused the explosion, which took place on the 16th floor of the 21-story building, a The Baltimore Fire Union said.
In a statement, BGE said it was a “construction incident”. Construction work was underway on the building’s air handling and boiler system, “which likely caused the incident,” the company said.
“The building was largely empty due to the upcoming holidays and the pandemic,” BGE said.
Two workers were rescued after being trapped on a window cleaning platform, the firefighters union said. Video from a local TV channel showed the scaffolding swinging to the side as firefighters smashed windows to reach workers.
City officials closed streets in the region and urged drivers to take alternative routes.