Death toll rises from Baltimore gas explosion

BALTIMORE (AP) — Two people are now confirmed dead following a natural gas explosion that destroyed three row houses in Baltimore and sent seven people to the hospital, authorities said Tuesday.

Baltimore Fire Department spokeswoman Blair Adams said at a 9 a.m. news conference that a man was pulled from the debris shortly before 1 a.m. The discovery brought the death toll to two people. A woman had been pronounced dead at the scene shortly after Monday morning’s explosion.

Seven other people were transported to hospitals, with five of them in critical condition, Adams said. She said the conditions of the other two people were still being determined.

Adams said that about 30 residents in the area have utilized temporary shelter since the explosion, and that more than 200 residents in the neighborhood were affected by the blast.

Meanwhile, the exact cause of the explosion remains unknown.

The Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said in a statement on Monday that it is “committed to fully understanding the cause of this incident and will inspect all BGE equipment once rescue efforts are complete. This is an active investigation and we cannot speculate on the possible causes.”