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BGE Communications

BGE media hotline: 410-470-7433

BGE updates on Labyrinth Road incident

​The following statements were released by BGE over multiple days to provide updates on the incident that occurred in the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road in Baltimore, Md., on Monday, Aug. 10 2020:


Latest statement

Aug. 13, 2020 — 6 a.m.

We have completed the inspection of BGE gas and electric equipment serving the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road in northwest Baltimore. BGE has found that all of its equipment—gas mains, gas service pipes and gas meters, as well as electric equipment—has been operating safely and was not the cause of the natural gas explosion that occurred Aug. 10. Investigators are also examining customer-owned gas piping and appliances at the scene. The investigation into the specific events leading to the explosion will continue by the Baltimore City Fire Department and other local, state, and federal agencies, and BGE will continue to provide assistance to the ongoing investigation. To summarize the findings and actions to date:

  • The Labyrinth Road BGE gas main and gas service pipes were surveyed for leaks on Monday, Aug. 10, with none identified.
  • Our crews canvassed all surrounding buildings on Aug 10-11. No gas readings were found in any of the buildings.
  • A portion of the gas main in the vicinity of the explosion and 38 gas service pipes for properties along this portion of the main were isolated from the area gas system and taken out of service on Aug. 10 as a safety precaution while emergency rescue operations were underway. On Tuesday afternoon, the gas main and services successfully passed a re-pressurization test required to be placed back in service. This portion of the gas main and services were again surveyed with leak detection equipment and no leaks were found, confirming the previous day’s results.
    • On Wednesday (Aug. 12) afternoon, gas service pipes serving properties involved in the explosion were pressure tested with PSC oversight and were found to successfully hold pressure with no leaks.
  • In cooperation with federal, state, and city investigators, BGE analyzed the data from the gas and electric smart meters serving the properties involved in the explosion and has provided that data to the Baltimore City Fire Department and other investigators. This information is being reviewed by the investigators and can be helpful to investigators on analyzing the flows of gas and electricity on customer-owned equipment.
    • The data from one gas meter was found to be indicative of some type of issue beyond the BGE meter on customer-owned gas equipment and is currently being analyzed by investigators.
  • BGE performed a thorough analysis of the past routine leak survey inspections for the area. The Labyrinth Road gas main and service pipes are on a 3-year inspection cycle and were surveyed in June and July of 2019. No leaks were found.
  • BGE reviewed the history of any leaks reported by customers. No leaks were reported by customers at the properties involved in the explosion for the last five years.
    • No gas odors were reported to BGE from the Labyrinth Road area on the day of the explosion.
  • The 1960s installation age and protected steel materials of the medium-pressure gas mains and service pipes serving the neighborhood where Labyrinth Road is located are very safe and highly reliable with low leak rates. While BGE is undertaking a gas system modernization effort to replace aging, outmoded equipment throughout central Maryland, it is focused primarily on removal of low-pressure cast iron, unprotected steel and copper piping that make up less than 20 percent of the gas system but account for 70 percent of the leaks. These materials are not used in the neighborhood where Labyrinth Road is located. Throughout central Maryland, since 2014, BGE has invested more than $560 million in its STRIDE accelerated gas system modernization program and replaced 260 miles of gas main and 64,000 gas service pipes and risers. We have increased the pace from a 100-year replacement timeline to removing all outmoded materials from the gas system within the next two decades.
  • We thank our customers in this neighborhood and across central Maryland for their patience and understanding while we completed this important phase of the investigation. We are extremely appreciative of the partnership with the emergency responders and relief agencies and city, county, state, and federal officials who responded to this event.
    • BGE is contributing $25,000 to relief organizations American Red Cross of Central Maryland, United Way of Central Maryland, and the Maryland Food Bank to support needs in the community surrounding the incident.
  • All electric service temporarily interrupted during the incident has been restored to customers. Gas service is available for restoration for any on-site gas customers whose properties have passed structural and gas safety inspections performed by Baltimore City and BGE. Any gas customers who have temporarily relocated who still need service restored may contact BGE at 1-800-685-0123 at their convenience to schedule an inspection of the property and service restoration.
  • All 3,200 BGE employees are keeping the families of the deceased and those injured in the explosion in our thoughts and prayers.
  • As always, customers are reminded to contact BGE at 1-800-685-0123 from a safe location at any time, 365 days a year, if they smell gas or have any gas or electric safety concerns. BGE crews will respond promptly to make the situation safe.
    • Customers should also ensure their gas appliances and piping are routinely inspected and properly maintained by licensed plumbers and appliance technicians. For more gas safety tips, please visit bge.com/gassafety.




Previous statements

Aug. 11, 2020 — 7 p.m.

This afternoon BGE resupplied natural gas to the portion of gas main and service pipes along a portion of Labyrinth Road that had been removed from service as a safety precaution. The gas main and service pipes successfully passed the pressurization test required to be placed back in service. BGE also inspected the gas main and service pipes with leak detection equipment and no leaks were found, confirming yesterday’s leak survey results. The process will now begin to restore service to 34 individual customer properties along the portion of Labyrinth Road that had service temporarily suspended. BGE will work directly with customers at their convenience to restore service and relight any gas appliances. BGE will leave instructions for any customers not at their homes to facilitate service restoration and, as always, customers can contact BGE at 1.800.685.0123 with any issues or to schedule an appointment.




Aug. 11, 2020 — 12 p.m.

We are continuing to work with the Baltimore City Fire Department and other investigators in the investigation of the explosion in the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road in northwest Baltimore on Aug. 10. Three of the attached rowhomes on Labyrinth Road were completely demolished in the explosion and one attached rowhome was left standing but was severely damaged.

As previously reported, BGE inspected the gas main serving the dwellings on Monday and found no leaks. After a thorough review of records, there have been no leaks reported to BGE at these properties within the last five years. All of the BGE gas mains and service pipes in the neighborhood were routinely inspected for leaks in June and July of 2019 with no leaks found.

At the request of the investigators, BGE has provided requested gas and electricity data to the Baltimore City Fire Department and other investigators. This information is being reviewed by the investigators and can be helpful to investigators on analyzing the flows of gas and electricity on customer-owned equipment.

The data is indicative of some type of issue beyond the BGE meter on customer-owned equipment and is currently being analyzed by investigators.

We will continue to work closely with the Fire Department and investigators to inspect equipment at the scene. We are committed to cooperating fully with the investigators in finding the cause of the explosion.

We continue to thank the emergency responders, city officials, BGE crews, relief agencies and members of the neighborhood for their assistance in responding to this incident. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those injured and the family members of the deceased.

As always, anyone with gas safety concerns should get to a safe location and contact BGE at 877-778-7798 or 911. Crews will respond any time, day or night, to make the situation safe.




Aug. 10, 2020 — 9 p.m.

BGE is grateful for the prompt and skilled response by the Baltimore City Fire and Police Departments and responding BGE crew members.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with those injured and the family members of the deceased. This remains an active emergency recovery effort led by the Fire Department.

Public safety is our first priority. Our crews have now inspected the Labyrinth Road gas main and canvassed all surrounding buildings. No gas readings were found in any of the buildings and no leaks were found on the Labyrinth Road gas main or services. Our crews are continuing to inspect area gas mains and services for safety and will make any necessary repairs if any issues are found.

All gas service is off to a portion of the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road. This is a standard safety procedure to aid in emergency response efforts and to ensure safety. Some electric lines in the area were damaged and crews have repaired those lines to restore power to all nearby residents who lost power.

The cause of this morning's explosion is currently unknown and we will be working with the Fire Department to investigate. BGE is committed to fully understanding the cause of this incident and will inspect all BGE equipment once rescue efforts are complete. This is an active investigation and we cannot speculate on the possible causes.

Our records indicate the following:

  • This area’s gas infrastructure was installed in the early 1960s.
  • No gas odors were reported prior to this morning's event and BGE did not receive any recent gas odor calls from the block of homes that were damaged.
  • BGE’s most recent inspection of the gas mains and services in the area occurred in June and July of 2019 and did not identify any leaks.

Once again, we thank the emergency responders and we are committed to working with them to determine what occurred. Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and the family members of the deceased.

As always, anyone with any gas safety concerns should contact BGE from a safe location at 877-778-7798 or call 911. We will respond immediately to make the situation safe.




Aug. 10, 2020 — 4 p.m.

The cause of this morning's explosion in northwest Baltimore is currently unknown. BGE responded to the scene at the Fire Department's request to shut off gas and electric service in the area to make the scene safe. BGE has canvassed the area and found no current readings of gas. Once fire rescue is complete, we will begin the process of working with the Fire Department to investigate BGE equipment in the area. These inspections will include the gas mains, service piping leading to properties and gas meters. Customer-owned appliances and piping will also be investigated. Area inspections will encompass homes and gas equipment in a wide area to ensure there is no additional damage. In addition, BGE is reviewing records for this area, including any reported gas odors, recent inspection results and repairs. We are working with the Fire Department to ensure continued safety and to aid in its investigation.

As always, immediate reporting of any gas odors or issues is critical to public safety. If you suspect a gas leak or have any gas concerns where you live or work, get to a safe location and report it to BGE immediately by calling (877) 778-7798 or by calling 911. BGE will respond 24 hours a day to investigate and make the situation safe. For non-gas leak concerns, please call (800) 685-0123. For additional information about gas safety and what to do in a gas emergency visit bge.com/gassafety.




Aug. 10, 2020 — 11 a.m.

BGE received a call from the Fire Department at 9:54 this morning to respond to the scene. We are on the scene and working closely with the fire department to make the situation safe. Crews are working to turn off gas to the buildings in the immediate area. Once the gas is off we can begin to safely assess the situation including inspections of BGE equipment.




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