According to Det. police spokesperson, firefighters were dispatched to 1910 Benhill Ave., Curtis Bay after an explosion at the CSX Coal Plant Building. Chakia Fennoy said. Twitter users reported that residents across the city felt the blast miles away.
Blair Adams, a spokeswoman for the fire department, stated that no injuries were reported and that no contractors were present at the time of explosion.
Adams stated that firefighters were present on the scene to monitor for collapse. She said that the explosion was caused by coal transport.
Adams stated that the coal was on a conveyor belt in the facility, where coal dust buildup caused an explosion. Adams stated that there is no risk or impact on the community.
Justin Helms lives nearby the Curtis Bay facility and was out walking his dogs when the blast hit his neighborhood.
Helms stated that he originally feared there was a bombing. The force shook the area like the T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park, where puddles of water were left from earlier rain.
He said, "We tried to brace ourselves and look around to see what was happening while windows were breaking out of houses." Helms stated that his house was not damaged but that several of his neighbors had lost their windows.
Helms stated that he worked previously for a contractor who cleaned silos at the CSX Pier. Employees were warned repeatedly that explosive materials were contained.
Helms stated that the facility was filled with tunnels and that he was concerned about people being trapped during the blast.
He said, "I would hope that because they monitor things, they knew something was likely to happen, but you also know there are always errors."
Eric Costello, Baltimore City Councilman, tweeted that a propane tank had burst.
"The loud sound heard at Curtis Bay's CSX Coal Pier around 11:35 a.m. was caused by a propane tank explosion. Costello stated that OEM, BPD and BCFD were all present at the scene. "The explosion was isolated to the CSX property. There is no risk or impact to the community, there have been no injuries reported, and the cause is unknown at this point."
Cindy Schild, director for media relations and public affairs at CSX said that all employees were safe and that there were no injuries. CSX is grateful for the prompt response by the Baltimore Fire Department. Investigating the cause of this incident is underway.
Chad Starr, a Brooklyn Auto Services mechanic, stated that he initially believed something had happened to their building.
They ran outside to see black smoke rising from a CSX building.
Starr stated, "It was frightening, it was really scary," It shook us. It shaken me, my boss and all of us. We're all still shook.
Starr said, "I've been in an earthquake and it wasn’t even like that," Starr continued.
The mechanic shop was damaged only by a fixture that fell from the ceiling.
Starr's coworker Patrick Galliher said that he used to work for a company that cleaned up in the CSX plant.
He said, "That could have been me inside that tunnel." It's an eye-opening experience. You get scared."
This story will be updated.