Work van explodes

Work van explodes inside Fells Point parking garage in Baltimore
Work van explodes inside Fells Point parking garage in Baltimore

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A car exploded Wednesday afternoon after a driver turned on the ignition in a city-owned parking garage in Fells Point, Baltimore.

The driver and a pedestrian sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.

Work van explodes inside Fells Point parking garage, injuring two people in Baltimore

There were three gas canisters inside the vehicle, described as a contractor’s work truck or SUV, said Blair Adams, a spokesman for the Baltimore City Fire Department. It was not immediately clear what kind of gas was inside the canisters.

The car was parked on the third floor of a five-story garage and exploded just after 3 p.m. at 805 Caroline Street.

The explosion shattered windows and cracked the concrete floor of the building.

The driver was taken to hospital with minor burns to his face and neck, along with other injuries.

“The explosion was so bad that we couldn’t do much of the car,” Adams said.

Other vehicles parked on the third floor were also damaged.

There is no active threat to the public.

Members of the Baltimore Police Explosive Squad and the Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Team were on site to investigate the cause of the explosion.

Representatives from the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland State Police, and Baltimore Gas and Electric are assisting in the investigation.

Just before 6 p.m. Wednesday, the city of Baltimore sent out an email telling drivers parked on the first and second floors of the garage that they can retrieve their cars using the garage ramp or stairs.

“If you are parked on the third floor or higher, your vehicle is not accessible at this time,” the alert read.

Fire officials cleared the parking garage and buildings within a one-block radius. People in nearby buildings said they heard the explosion from across the street.

Camp counselor Celia Bowers was working at the Baltimore Urban Gardening for Students when the class heard an explosion.

“It was loud enough to say, ‘Was that an explosion?'” Powers said. “

Powers added that another counselor in the camp saw glass in the street after the explosion.

Parents of children in the camp arrived for an emergency reception shortly after. The mother hugged her son behind the yellow tape that tightened the parking garage.

The blast was the latest Baltimore-area parking lot accident this month, after the Inner Harbor garage partially collapsed and a fuel leak caused a fire that burned three cars in a downtown Tucson garage.