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Steam Explosion Under Investigation In Baltimore City

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Baltimore City Fire Department reports that five people have been injured after a steam pipe exploded on Eutaw Street Tuesday afternoon.

Just after 6 p.m., fire crews were called to Eutaw Street between Lombard and Pratt Streets for a steam pipe explosion.

Sky Eye Chopper 13 was there as the large cloud of steam filled downtown city streets as crews began working on the situation and blocked traffic.

Steam billowed out of the crater created by the explosion for almost an hour, until crews were able to gain control of the situation.

Veolia North America emergency crews were able to shut off the steam supply to the Eutaw Street, the affected area, and are investigating the root of the problem.

Rubble and debris was scattered over the area of South Eutaw Street, and dust and dirt covered nearby cars.

Several city agencies are working to investigate the situation, including Baltimore Police and Fire Departments, as well as the Office of Emergency Management, Baltimore Gas and Electric and the Department of Public Works.

Baltimore City Office of Emergency Management says Baltimore Fire HazMat teams confirmed the clouds were steam.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh appeared at the scene of the explosion and went over details with fire officials.

"I'm just glad that the citizens of Baltimore are safe those that are attending the Orioles game are safe," Pugh said. "I think we dodged a major catastrophe here."

Vendor Joshua Anderson was steps away when concrete flew into the air and struck him.

"My back still burning up from the inside, from the impact, from the rocks, hot rocks hit me all in my back," he said. "And it still burn me on my left hand side. I'm still in pain and my leg. My left and right leg. I thought it was a bomb attack."

"I thought, a bomb. Explosion. Like you don't hear that everyday," Kevin King said.

"I was getting off the light rail and I heard a big blast, I said 'oh my God'" said Edward Marsh from Ohio.

Baltimore City Office of Emergency Management says traffic delays should be expected.

"We really did dodge a bullet today. The injuries we all today are considered low level injuries," said fire chief Niles Ford.

MTA says LocalLink Bus routes have been disrupted with diversions and delays.

"Customers can expect major delays on LocalLink service downtown. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience during this time," says MTA in a statement.

Baltimore Police Spokesman T.J. Smith says no criminal actions are suspected.

I never seen anything like that in my life, never," one witness said.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

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