A rapid gas leak into a basement utility room caused an explosion that killed seven people in Silver Spring, MD, and reduced four floors of apartments to rubble, according to an article in the Washington Post.
The Aug. 10 explosion, which crumbled walls and led to the collapse of floors above the basement, also tore open a gas line, feeding more fuel into the inferno and making it difficult to extinguish, the article states.
“Like many gas-heated apartment buildings, the one that blew up receives high-pressure natural gas through a two-inch service line into a utility room,” the Post wrote. Investigators have focused sharply on the utility room gas system.
The source of the ignition may never be definitively known, however one person familiar with the probe said investigators are looking at the role of a gas-fired hot- water heater in the utility room adjacent to the bank of meters, the article states.
A resident of the building had reported a smell of gas at the apartment building on July 25, which Montgomery County firefighters responded to, county officials have said.
To read the Washington Post, click here.
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