A gas explosion has destroyed a Maryland Office complex and shopping center on Sunday 25th, August 2019.
Authorities said that the destruction ripped away part of the façade, exposing twisted metal. No injuries were reported in the deafening blast that occurred at about 8 am.
The area had been evacuated by authorities because of a suspected early morning leak near the complex in Columbia, Maryland.
Fire crews, responding about an hour before the attack as a result of a fire alarm, had had everyone removed from the surrounding area, making sure that the building was vacant.
Stephen Hardesty, the battalion chief of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, described it as one of the worst explosions he has ever seen.
The building is at risk of collapsing, we’re working with some building inspectors and the property owner to figure out what our next steps are to secure the building and help out as much as we can with the investigation that’s going to ensue with this.
Governor Larry Hogan thanked the first responders for being on the scene within minutes. He said they had been offered support and assistance from the Maryland Joint Operations Center and the State Fire Marshal.