A Howard County emergency responder looks on at the damage caused by a gas explosion at the Lakeside Office Park in Columbia, Md., Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. The shopping center was evacuated. (Kevin Richardson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Sunday, August 25, 2019 1:00 pm
Gas explosion in Maryland badly damages shopping center
COLUMBIA, Md. – A powerful natural gas explosion badly damaged an office complex and shopping center in Maryland on Sunday, officials said.
The explosion happened at about 8 a.m. in Columbia, Maryland, and no injuries were reported.
"It was so powerful it could be heard in communities many miles away," said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball in a statement.
Police and fire crews responded to multiple reports of hissing sounds coming from a large crack in a parking lot and made sure the buildings nearby were not occupied.
"Fortunately, because of their actions and because this happened on a Sunday morning when no one was inside the building, there are no reported injuries at this time," Ball said.