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Explosion at CSX facility in South Baltimore, officials say no injuries reported

Posted at 12:03 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 10:19:06-05

BALTIMORE — An explosion at a CSX facility in South Baltimore was heard across the area Thursday morning.

Baltimore City Fire officials said contractors were working to move coal on a conveyor belt when the coal dust exploded. There were no fire or injuries, just damage to their equipment.

It happened just before 11:30, when mechanics Chad Starr and Patrick Galliher were about to start repairs on a pick up truck at a shop in Curtis Bay.

"It felt like... just a wave like boom. It’s just hard to explain. We thought a helicopter hit the building," said Starr.

"We were afraid the building was gonna come down on us," said Galliher.

They looked outside at the CSX property nextdoor and saw the source.

"There was just smoke pouring out of everywhere," said Galliher.

Explosive surveillance footage shows coal silo blow up at CSX facility in Curtis Bay on Thursday.

The explosion could be felt for mile, across the harbor and even in Bel Air.

"I’m still shook up about it," said Galliher.

Not only was he so close in proximity. It really hits home for Galliher and he’s glad everyone is okay.

"About 3 months ago, I worked for one of the companies that cleans up inside here, so that could have been me in that tunnel that died. So it’s a real eye opening situation," said Galliher.

Baltimore Fire Spokeswoman Blair Adams released a statement regarding the explosion:

Shortly before 11:30 am we responded to 1900 Benhill Ave. for a reported explosion. Once units arrived on the scene, we were advised contractors were working to move coal on a conveyer belt when the coaldust explosion occurred. There has been no impact or risk to the community and the incident is isolated to the CSX property. No fire and no injuries reported – just damage to their equipment. 

From our understanding the explosion could be heard within a 3 to 4 mile radius and across the harbor.