Aug. 11 (UPI) — At least one person was killed and seven others were injured in Baltimore on Monday by a natural gas explosion that destroyed three homes, authorities said.
The explosion occurred in the northwestern part of the city shortly before 10 a.m., officials said. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.
The Baltimore City Fire Department confirmed that as of Monday night one person was killed and seven others were injured and transported to local hospitals. Four people were in serious condition, the department said.
“We will continue to dig through the debris through the night,” the department said via Twitter. “The cause remains under investigation.
WBAL-TV reported earlier that a woman had died in the blast.
The explosion occurred behind the Reisterstown Plaza shopping center on the Baltimore City-County line.
Mayor Bernard Young told reporters during a press briefing that the explosion shattered windows throughout the community and they were working with Red Cross to get housing for those affected by the blast.
“We just want to make sure we take care of these people,” he said.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said in a statement that it’s working with the fire department to “make the situation safe” and switch off gas to buildings in the area.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in northwest Baltimore following this morning’s horrific explosion,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted. “We have reached out to offer our full support to the ongoing response and recovery efforts, and are deeply grateful to the first responders on the scene.”
Residents reported feeling the force of the explosion several miles away.