At least twelve people – including four children – were injured in a massive explosion that tore through a Maryland apartment complex with some of its residents still trapped inside in what is being called a ‘mass casualty situation.’

The two-alarm fire ripped through a structure at 800 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard near Rabbit Road in Gaithersburg, Maryland around 8:40am Wednesday morning.

The catastrophic explosion demolished a portion of the residential building, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer said.

Ten people were taken to area hospitals with two of the injured transported to a trauma center. The children sustained ‘mild to moderate’ injuries, and two other people were treated at the scene and declined to be taken to a hospital, officials said, WBAL-TV reported. 

Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said ‘the building has sustained a significant explosion that resulted in a collapse,’ the news outlet reported.

More than 100 firefighters and rescue personnel responded to the fiery blast. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

But, an initial search had found evidence of a ‘gas-fed fire in the basement,’ the fire chief said, The Washington Post reported.  

Crews from Washington Gas were working to shut off the gas to the buildings so firefighters could go inside the nine damaged units, the news outlet reported.

According to the fire chief, residents in the building told him a gas leak had been repaired at the building just last week.

The two-alarm fire in Gaithersburg, Maryland ripped through a structure at 800 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard near Rabbit Road Wednesday around 8:40am, fire officials said 

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue arrive at the catastrophic scene. Ten people were taken to area hospitals with two of the injured transported to a trauma center. The children sustained 'mild to moderate' injuries, and two other people were treated at the scene and declined to be taken to a hospital, officials said, WBAL-TV reported

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue arrive at the catastrophic scene. Ten people were taken to area hospitals with two of the injured transported to a trauma center. The children sustained ‘mild to moderate’ injuries, and two other people were treated at the scene and declined to be taken to a hospital, officials said, WBAL-TV reported

A graphic image of the garden-style apartment building engulfed in thick heavy smoke

A graphic image of the garden-style apartment building engulfed in thick heavy smoke 

Firefighters work to extinguish the blaze at the Maryland apartment complex. Fire crews conducted a secondary search looking for residents that may have still been trapped inside the three-story building

Firefighters work to extinguish the blaze at the Maryland apartment complex. Fire crews conducted a secondary search looking for residents that may have still been trapped inside the three-story building

By 8:50am, the fire went to a second alarm and by 10am the bulk of the fire was contained as firefighters did a secondary search to look for anyone else they may have been trapped inside the burning building, Piringer said. 

Many posted the horrifying scene on Twitter that showed thick black smoke billowing from the building from miles away.

A man who works nearby and felt the blast said ‘it felt like we were bombed,’ NBC Washington reported. 

Drone footage and graphic video and images show the the terrifying scene showing the red-fiery blaze rip through the three-story building.

Nearby roads were closed and firefighters evacuated neighboring buildings including, apartments, townhomes and commercial space, after the building collapse, a report said.  

Brown Station Elementary School located at 851 Quince Orchard Blvd, Gaithersburg near where the explosion occurred had students at the school shelter-in-place, a Montgomery County school spokesman said.

The school spokesperson said students and staff were safely inside the building and that classroom instruction would resume, but later announced that there would be an early dismissal, and all afternoon programs would be cancelled, the news outlet reported.

Parents were at asked to pick up their children at the Robertson Youth Center in Gaithersburg, a report said.    

Drone footage captures the smoke rising from the residential building. The cause of the fire was being investigated. Montgomery County Fire Chief said residents in the building told him a gas leak had been repaired at the building just last week

Drone footage captures the smoke rising from the residential building. The cause of the fire was being investigated. Montgomery County Fire Chief said residents in the building told him a gas leak had been repaired at the building just last week

More than 100 firefighters and rescue personnel responded to the Wednesday morning blast. Drone footage captures the harrowing scene

More than 100 firefighters and rescue personnel responded to the Wednesday morning blast. Drone footage captures the harrowing scene 

Two of the apartment complex's six-unit buildings were affected by the explosion

 Two of the apartment complex’s six-unit buildings were affected by the explosion

Photos show the roof ripped off the building, burned out windows, a gaping hole and mounds of debris, bricks and rubble on the ground

Photos show the roof ripped off the building, burned out windows, a gaping hole and mounds of debris, bricks and rubble on the ground 

Firefighters inspect the site of the building collapse decimated by the explosion

Firefighters inspect the site of the building collapse decimated by the explosion 

A preliminary report indicates the fire was sparked by a gas leak, according to fire officials

A preliminary report indicates the fire was sparked by a gas leak, according to fire officials

More than 100 firefighters and rescue personnel responded to the two-alarm fire. Rockville Volunteer Fire Department (pictured) was one of the fire crews on site to assist

More than 100 firefighters and rescue personnel responded to the two-alarm fire. Rockville Volunteer Fire Department (pictured) was one of the fire crews on site to assist 

A civilian captured the Wednesday morning blaze from a nearby McDonald's parking lot

A civilian captured the Wednesday morning blaze from a nearby McDonald’s parking lot  

Firefighters from neighboring areas including, the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the harrowing scene to assist.  

Montgomery County Fire Chief said the Red Cross was on hand helping displaced residents, a report said.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued a tweet updating the public that ‘the State Fire Marshal and the Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack have offered assistance with the response to this explosion.’



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