The Latest: Additional deaths expected in apartment fire

AP News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2016 2:48 PM
The Latest: Additional deaths expected in apartment fire

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly explosion and apartment fire in Maryland (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

Police now say they expect additional fatalities from an explosion and fire in Maryland that has already left two people dead and a number of people unaccounted for.

At a news conference Friday, Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Russ Hamill said he believes additional bodies will be found in the debris of an apartment building in Silver Spring. But he declined to speculate on how many people remain missing; fire officials on Thursday had initially said five to seven people were unaccounted for.

Fire officials say search efforts have been slowed because the building is in danger of collapse and needs to be shored up.

The explosion late Wednesday night shook buildings more than a mile away. On Thursday, police confirmed two deaths, and more than 30 injuries.

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9:40 a.m.

Crews have removed two bodies from the scene of a deadly explosion and apartment fire outside the nation's capital.

Battalion Chief Dan Ogren says the bodies of two people were removed from the building Thursday and taken to the Office of the chief Medical Examiner for autopsies and identification. He says because of the conditions of the bodies, officials weren't able to identify age or sex.

Officials say two people were killed, others are missing and more than 30 were taken to hospitals for treatment after the blast and fire late Wednesday. Ogren says crews are finishing shoring up the building so teams can go in safely.

Ogren says crews will be searching for those still missing and looking into the cause of the blast. He says 80 to 90 investigators from county police and fire marshal's office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and National Transportation Safety Board will be on the scene.

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8:10 a.m.

Authorities are returning to the scene of a deadly explosion and apartment fire in a complex outside the nation's capital, searching for those still missing and looking into the cause of the blast.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Capt. Oscar Garcia said that county fire and police officials and investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are resuming work at the Silver Spring apartment complex Friday morning.

Officials announced that two people were killed, others are missing and more than 30 were taken to hospitals for treatment after the blast and fire late Wednesday. Police did not release the identities of the dead and said an unknown number of residents are still unaccounted for. Firefighters used ladders to rescue people from upper floors, and residents tossed children from balconies to safety below.

County officials were trying to help worried family members account for missing loved ones.

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2:45 a.m.

As authorities investigate the cause of a deadly explosion and apartment fire in an apartment complex outside the nation's capital, they are looking into reports that residents smelled natural gas before the blast.

Two people were killed, others are missing and more than 30 were taken to hospitals for treatment. Police did not release the identities of the dead.

Firefighters used ladders to rescue people from upper floors, and residents tossed children from balconies to safety below.

Police said an unknown number of residents remain unaccounted for.

The explosion late Wednesday night sent debris hundreds of feet, and people more than a mile away reported the blast was strong enough to shake their homes.

County officials were trying to help worried family members account for missing loved ones.