Seven missing, dozens injured in Maryland explosion, fire
Maryland Explosion, Fire (Youtube)

Rescue workers searched on Thursday for as many as seven people who were missing after an explosion and fire torched an apartment building in a Washington, D.C. suburb, injuring dozens, including three firefighters, authorities said.


The blast tore through the four-story building shortly before midnight in Silver Spring, Maryland, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

About 160 firefighters battled the blaze, which was brought under control by Thursday morning.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the explosion, which forced 90 people from their homes, Piringer said. K-9 units were searching for the missing.

About 30 people, including the three firefighters, were treated at local hospitals, Piringer said.

The blast scattered debris as far as 300 feet (90 meters) from the building, Piringer said.

Clothing was seen strewn in sidewalk treetops in video footage provided by fire officials. Bricks were launched across a roadway, badly damaging a storefront and cars parked nearby.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Laila Kearney in New York; Editing by Larry King and Jeffrey Benkoe)