Body Found In Building Damaged By Explosion In Gaithersburg

The number of injuries has jumped to 14.

Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones (Photo from MontCoShow MCS)

Gaithersburg, Md (KM) A body was found at the site of the explosion Wednesday morning of the Potomac Oaks Condominium Complex in Gaithersburg. That announcement was made Thursday night by Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein who said the corpse was located inside a building after a canine alert.

“As work began, we made access to our apartment of focus inside of {building} 826. As that work continues, we did locate and remove one body from the structure,”: he said.

Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told reporters that there is no identity yet on the deceased. “The body has been transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore. It is there where we hope to make  positive identification of that individual, hopefully by tomorrow {Friday},” he said.

But that  won’t be the end of it. “We are looking, based upon information–preliminarily, preliminary–we are looking at this event for a criminal investigation,:” he said.

“We have some information, again it’s very limited, but we are looking into the possibility of this as criminal intentional act,”: Chief Jones continued. “We don’t that for sure. Jones  said he couldn’t be more specific.

Earlier in the day, Chief Goldstein told reporters that 14 people had been injured as a result of the blast. “We originally reported 12 total patients. That number has been revised as the day went on here today. we saw two additional residents/patients on site, The number is 14 patients,”: he said.

According to Chief Goldstein, four of the patients were treated at the scene. Ten were transported to area hospitals; two had critical injuries and were taken to a trauma center. The other eight were transported to other medical facilities. Out of that number one still remains in the hospital. The others have been released.

On another topic, Goldstein said as of Wednesday night, 12 families totaling 34 people who were displaced by the explosion were being assisted by the county’s; sheltering task force. “Overnight, there was only a cumulative three families and nine people seeking assistance. They were supported by our sheltering task force and all of our partners there and provided accommodations,:” he said.

The Chief also said the smoke from the explosion site has almost disappeared. “We have an over watch function from fire rescue here because the building was still smoldering and there was still pockets of fire in the building. That resolved itself overnight. As you can see, very little or no smoke production on the scene behind,” Goldstein said. He was speaking to reporters at the scene of the explosion.

He said it was gas-fed fire in the basement of the building, but couldn’t say for sure if   the cause was a gas explosion or gas leak.

By Kevin McManus