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Maryland Explosion: Children dropped to safety, search continues for survivors

Posted at 6:54 AM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 11:18:08-04

SILVER SPRING, Maryland -- As many as a half dozen people remained unaccounted for Thursday morning following an explosion at a Silver Spring, Maryland apartment building.

No fatalities have been reported, but two firefighters and more than two dozen residents were hurt in the blast and fire that followed, a Montgomery County Fire Department spokesman said.

Some of the injuries were the result of people jumping out of windows, according to Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein. Children were also reportedly being dropping from windows, while others were able to access work ladders from trucks in the neighborhood.

The incident, which was originally reported on Twitter by Montgomery County Fire's Pete Piringer around midnight Wednesday, resulted in a raging three-alarm fire at the Flower Branch Apartments in the 8600 block of Piney Branch Road.

It's unclear at this time if there are any fatalities, according to Piringer who also says all occupants have not yet been accounted for.

Chief Goldstien says they are now implementing search dogs to try and find those missing.

Building debris was scattered throughout a nearby parking lot following the explosion. Witnesses described hearing a loud "boom" and some nearby even report they felt their home shake.

Firefighters say they felt the explosion at the Four Corners Fire Station 16, which is about six miles away. It was initially thought to be a transformer explosion.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, but early reports indicate natural gas contributed to the explosion.

This is a developing story.