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Workers rescued from dangling scaffolding after ‘explosion’ at Baltimore building

Explosion in high-rise Baltimore building causes the roof to collapse and leaves at least 10 people injured and two window cleaners clinging to dangling platform

  • Baltimore authorities said at least 10 people were injured and 20 others trapped after an explosion at the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s offices
  • Two workers became trapped in scaffolding that was dangling from the building
  • First responders rescued the workers just before 10am Wednesday morning
  • Nine of the injured were taken to hospitals in critical condition while one person is in serious condition, according to first responders 
  • A utility spokeswoman said work on the building’s ‘air handling and boiler system’ likely caused the accident, but it’s still under investigation

Two window cleaners were rescued from a dangling platform after an explosion at a Baltimore building injured at least 10 people and trapped 20 others on Wednesday morning.  

The explosion left the workers clinging to the scaffolding, which was seen hanging from the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s offices in downtown Baltimore. 

Images from the scene showed first responders rescuing the workers just before 10am. The trapped employees were taken to safety through a window.

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Window cleaners were trapped on a scaffolding that was seen dangling from the building (pictured). They were rescued just before 10am Wednesday morning

At least 10 people were injured and 20 others became trapped after an explosion at a building in Baltimore. Window cleaners were trapped on a scaffolding that was seen dangling from the building (right). They were rescued just before 10am Wednesday morning 

According to Baltimore Fire, the explosion caused the roof to partially collapse on the building (pictured)

According to Baltimore Fire, the explosion caused the roof to partially collapse on the building (pictured)

In a tweet, the IAFF Local 734 said there was ‘evidence of an explosion on the 16th floor of 39 W. Lexington St’. 

IAFF crews said they were treating two people on the ground who suffered from burns. 

According to Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott, 21 people were trapped in the building but have since been rescued by first responders. 

Baltimore Fire said in a tweet that at least 10 people were transported to area hospitals. 

Nine of those injured are in critical condition while one person is in serious condition. 

The scaffolding is still dangling but crews will work to remove the platform after they clear the entire building.

According to the department, the explosion caused the roof to partially collapse on the building.  

Firefighters responded to the scene around 8.30am. Two buildings on each side of the building were also evacuated as a precaution. 

An aerial view of the building shows damage on top of the roof

An aerial view of the building shows damage on top of the roof 

A ladder from a fire department truck is seen working its way up to the scaffolding for the rescue

First responders are seen rescuing the two workers who became trapped in the scaffolding

First responders are seen rescuing the two workers who became trapped in the scaffolding 

About a dozen rescue vehicles were seen at the scene of the incident Wednesday morning

About a dozen rescue vehicles were seen at the scene of the incident Wednesday morning 

By 10.30am, firefighters had extinguished a fire caused by the explosion.

Utility spokeswoman Stephanie Anne Weaver said work on the building’s ‘air handling and boiler system’ likely caused the accident.

‘Window washing scaffolding was comprised because of the incident and a window washing crew was pulled to safety by the fire department,’ Weaver said in a statement. 

The building was practically empty because of the holidays and the coronavirus pandemic.  

City officials said the cause of the explosion is still under investigation.  

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