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NTSB sets hearing on cause of gas explosion at Silver Spring apartment

Crews with canine unit focus on a corner of the Flower Branch apartments in Silver Spring, Maryland. An explosion and fire tore through the apartment complex in the late night hours of Aug. 10. At least five people died in the blast, police said Aug. 14. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board has scheduled a hearing to determine the probable cause of a fatal natural gas explosion more than two years ago.

The NTSB said in a news release Tuesday that the hearing is scheduled for April 23 at its conference center in Washington. The hearing was originally scheduled for March 12.

Authorities said the explosion at an apartment complex in Silver Spring, Maryland, on Aug. 10, 2016, killed seven people and injured dozens.

Last November, Maryland’s two U.S. senators said federal investigators need to wrap up their inquiry. NTSB officials said at the time thorough investigations take time and cited staffing issues.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concluded the explosion stemmed from a gas leak in a utility room housing the complex’s meters.

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