At least 10 people were injured Wednesday morning, nine of them critically, in an explosion in an office building in downtown Baltimore that caused part of its roof to collapse, the authorities said.
Firefighters and ambulances responded to the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company building on Center Street after the explosion, which was reported sometime after 8 a.m. The injured were taken to hospitals, the Baltimore City Fire Department said.
Nine people were in critical condition and one was in serious condition, the department said. Mayor Brandon M. Scott of Baltimore said on Twitter that 21 people were rescued.
It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion, which took place on the 16th floor of the 21-story building, a Baltimore firefighters’ union said.
In a statement, B.G.E. said it was “a construction-related incident.” Construction work was being done on the building’s air-handling and boiler system, “which likely caused the incident,” the company said.
“The building was largely empty due to the upcoming holidays and the pandemic,” B.G.E. said.
Two workers were rescued after they were trapped on a window-cleaning platform, the fire union said. Video from a local TV station showed the scaffolding dangling sideways as firefighters broke windows to the reach the workers.
City officials closed streets in the area and urged drivers to take alternate routes.