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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Demonstrators with the People’s Power Assembly gathered in Baltimore on Saturday for a march and caravan, speaking out against mass incarceration.

They started on North Charles Street and marched for several blocks.

The event was in line with national protests in the name of political prisoners.

They also commemorated Frederick Douglas for his famous speech: “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

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Investigation Into Baltimore Explosion Will Likely Take Months

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As crews continue to clear rubble from the scene of the Baltimore explosion, investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blast.

Baltimore Gas & Electric reported initial indicators show the explosion was not cause by its equipment.

So what does that mean and how can customers detect an issue?

BGE says service is being restored to some customers, but the important work of finalizing a cause may take months.

Heroes who rushed to save their neighbors trapped in the rubble Monday heard the gas in the moments after.

“We could hear a hiss, and we were like, that’s gas! We need to move!” said Antoinetta Parrish.

“You could hear gas, like hisssss, in the background. It was crazy,” said Dean Jones.

BGE said homes passed their last inspections in June and July of 2019 and no leaks were reported along Labyrinth Road since 2014.

A spokesperson said it’s too early to know the cause.

“BGE has checked and re-check its equipment,” said spokeswoman Linda Foy. “We have not found any issues with our equipment.”

An investigation will likely take months, but a report is due to the state’s public service commission within 30 days.

BGE said customers can be proactive in natural gas safety by using their senses.

Check for a rotten egg smell, a hissing sound, as described by neighbors after Monday’s explosion or signs of dirt blowing or dead plants and grass, which could be a visual sign there could be a leak.

“There are a number of things customers can be mindful of, but the main thing and the most important thing is if you smell gas, leave the building and call BGE right away,” said Foy.

Monday’s explosion comes four years to the day of a gas explosion in Silver Spring where seven people were killed and dozens others injured. The incident was later blamed on faulty gas equipment.

In 2014, a child was killed in East Baltimore after a gas explosion sent debris flying.

And, in August 2019  a gas explosion leveled a shopping center in Columbia.

In a report released this week, the Public Service Commission placed fault for the 2019 explosion with BGE’s equipment not conforming “to minimum safety standards.”

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BGE said there are about 250 other commercial sites with similar gas and electric lines the company is fixing.

“This work has already begun and it will be completed in 2021, so next year,” Foy added.

BGE stressed to its customers: any gas appliances should be installed or worked on by licensed contractors.

“A professional, a contractor, needs to do that work,” she said.

Federal agencies are on the ground here assist state and local investigators. The Public Service Commission has engineers on site as well.

“We’ve had engineers on site since Monday’s incident. In addition, BGE must file a written report of the incident within 30 days,” PSC said in a statement.

 

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