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A huge gas explosion has reduced three row houses to rubble in Baltimore, Maryland, killing one resident and injuring several others, the city’s fire department has said. At least five people remain trapped in the debris.

Shocking photos from the scene show an empty space in the row of houses where the destroyed homes used to stand. The trio of two-story buildings were literally leveled to the ground, and many nearby homes also sustained damage in the blast.

UNBELIEVABLE: multiple homes have been LEVELED by an explosion in Northwest Baltimore, one person has died and multiple others still missing, possibly children #BREAKING#Chopper4@nbcwashington#BaltimoreExplosionpic.twitter.com/6Bspu7ksES

The explosion occurred at around 10am local time in a residential area in the northeast of the city.

Several fire and emergency vehicles rushed to assist the victims, with officials from Baltimore Gas and Electric and the Baltimore Office of Emergency Management also on the scene.

There are dozens of personnel from multiple jurisdictions who remain actively engaged in rescue operations. There is at least 1 person still trapped.Our President, Rich Langford, and Secretary-Treasurer Shawn Little, remain on scene supporting our members. pic.twitter.com/1NmzCVnKew

An adult woman was pronounced dead on site, with two other residents of the destroyed homes taken to hospital in serious condition, the Fire Department wrote on Twitter.

The rescuers were looking for other survivors, it added, with at least five people believed to still be trapped beneath the ruined homes.

#BCOFD // House Explosion// Multiple units from Baltimore County has been requested to assist Baltimore City Fire Department with a house explosion. ^MJ pic.twitter.com/zUQwrYcJ3K

A 77-year-old witness who lives nearby told the Baltimore Sun that there were at least two explosions. The man said he was looking outside after the first bang when the second blast occurred.

⚠️⚠️MAJOR EXPLOSION WITH MULTIPLE PEOPLE TRAPPED⚠️⚠️In the area of 6500 blk Reisterstown Rd 21215Several houses exploded. At least 5 people trapped, some children. A Collapse Respose and Second Alarm has been called. 📷 @CitizenAppBALTpic.twitter.com/Ayddx8JeUp

“It knocked me across the bed. I came downstairs and saw all of the front of the houses across the street, they were on the ground. I had a picture window downstairs, the glass is in the chair now,” the witness explained.

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