Major Baltimore blast leaves 1 dead, 1 trapped; veteran says it ‘sounded like Korea’

By James RogersRobert Gearty

Baltimore firefighters searched through the rubble Monday after a gas explosion destroyed three rowhouses, killed a woman and seriously injured several other people.

The blast that also shattered windows in other homes unfolded shortly before 10 a.m. in a residential neighborhood in the northeast part of the city.

“This was a very intense explosion,” Fire Chief Niles Ford told a noon news briefing. “This is a horrendous type situation that we’re dealing with at this point.”

One destroyed home belonged to an 88-year-old U.S. Army veteran, the Baltimore Sun reported. That veteran, Major Watkins, Jr., said the explosion “sounded like Korea.”

Shortly before the news briefing began firefigthers resuced a woman who had been trapped for two hours. She was transported to the hospital with three others who were rescued earlier. She was seen giving a thumbs up as she wheeled down the street in a stretcher.

A short time later, a fifth person, a man, was rescued from the rubble, Fox 45 Baltimore reported. His condition wasn’t revealed.

Firefighters contined to search for possible other victims into the afternoon.

Ford said the cause of the gas explosion was under investigation.

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