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21 taken to hospitals after explosion; crews rescue 2 workers trapped on scaffolding


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    BALTIMORE (WBAL) — Firefighters rescued two workers who were trapped on a dangling scaffolding after an explosion at a downtown Baltimore building that seriously injured as many as 21 people.

The Baltimore City Fire Department reported there was an explosion with a partial roof collapse around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Baltimore Gas and Electric building at West Fayette and Liberty streets. Fire officials said as many as 23 people were rescued and at least 21 people were taken to hospitals. Two people declined to be taken to hospitals.

The scaffolding tore loose after an apparent explosion in another part of the building that caused part of the roof to collapse and was heard throughout the downtown area.

An 11 News crew at the scene reported firefighters broke through windows and pulled the people on the scaffolding to safety. It took more than an hour for the Baltimore City Fire Department’s Special Operations Team to rescue the two workers from the scaffolding.

Baltimore Fire Chief Niles Ford said the workers on the scaffolding were still tethered to the wires on the side of the building upon firefighters’ arrival. Rescuers brought the workers into the building through windows on the 10th and 11th floors.

Ford said the first person was pulled through a window on the 10th floor and a firefighter had to climb up the scaffold to bring the second worker through an 11th floor window. Ford said both people “are in pretty decent condition.”

“The building has been affected from the 10th floor to the roof, and there were several contractors working in the building,” Ford said.

BGE said the building was vacant due to the pandemic and the holidays.

“Construction crews were in there working on upgrading systems, and it does appear something occurred around the 16th floor, which is largely infrastructure,” BGE spokesman Aaron Koos said.

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Article Topic Follows: National/World

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