An explosion in a skyscraper in Baltimore injured 23 people on Wednesday and temporarily arrested a window cleaning team.
The explosion caused a partial roof collapse, the Baltimore Fire Department tweeted. Twenty-one people were taken to the hospital and two others refused treatment.
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The department responded to the downtown building, where the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company has offices, at around 8:30 am and two buildings on both sides were evacuated. The fire department tweeted that the evidence pointed to an explosion on the 16th floor.
The fire department said the cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Utility company spokeswoman Stephanie Anne Weaver said work on the building’s “air and boiler treatment system” probably caused the accident.
The explosion was not related to natural gas, Fox News reported in a statement. “The building’s gas service did not work due to the works.”
The arrested window workers were rescued through a window and firefighters continued to search the building on Wednesday afternoon.
“The window washing scaffolding has been compromised because of the incident and a window washing team has been secured by the fire department,” Weaver said in a statement. The building was practically empty because of the holidays and the coronavirus pandemic.
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Keith Osterman, 38, and Robert Friedel, 58, worked in a neighboring building and were outside when they heard the explosion.
“It was high and everything around here shook,” Osterman told The Baltimore Sun.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.