BGE says no flaws or leaks in its equipment leading up to Baltimore gas explosion

Baltimore Gas and Electric, the utility serving the Reisterstown Station neighborhood where a major gas explosion destroyed three row houses Monday morning, said its equipment was not at fault.

A survey of its equipment in the Labryinth Road area did not reveal any flaws, the utility said in a news release Thursday morning.

The explosion killed two people and injured seven others. At one point, five of those injured were in critical condition. That number has since dropped to one.

A woman who was pronounced dead at the scene was Lonnie Herriott, 61, according to a fire department statement Wednesday.

The other person who died was identified as Joseph Graham, 20, a rising sophomore and engineering student at Morgan State, a historically Black university in Baltimore.

BGE released a detailed statement that covered its inspection of gas and electric equipment in the neighborhood and noted that gas mains and pipes that had been taken out of service during the search and rescue operation have all been pressure tested and put back into use.

The utility noted that data from meters in the area in the period before the blast has been collected and is being turned over to the fire department and other investigators.

BGE said data from one meter that showed a flaw beyond the end point of its service, indicating the possibility of a flaw in customer-owned equipment, has been turned over to investigators.

The neighborhood is on a three-year cycle of routine leak inspections. BGE said the last time a thorough inspection took place was in July 2019 and no leaks were revealed.

Customers had not reported leaks or gas odors in the past five years, nor on the day of the explosion, BGE said.

The utility said the piping in the neighborhood was installed in the 1960s and is still considered to be reliable, and all service disabled during the aftermath of the explosion has been restored.

For more information about the preliminary investigation, visit the utility’s website.

The Associated Press and WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.

 

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