SILVER SPRING, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - National Transportation Safety Board officials say a mercury service regulator that was not connected to its vent line was the source of a gas leak that led to a deadly explosion and fire at a Silver Spring apartment complex three years.
The Aug. 10, 2016 explosion at the Flower Branch apartments killed seven people, including two children, and left many more injured.
NTSB officials held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss their findings following the investigation. FOX 5’s Bob Barnard was at the meeting and said the utility company was not called when residents smelled gas two weeks before the explosion.
Barnard said NTSB officials have not revealed, and may not know, the ignition source that caused the explosion. In all, over 60 people and several firefighters were injured. The damaged building was replaced by a new building that is still under construction.
@NTSB says a mercury service regulator not connected to its vent line was the source of the gas leak in the meter room at Building 8701 leading to an explosion & fire killing 7 residents at Flower Branch Apts in Silver Spring in Aug. 2016. More soon @fox5dc pic.twitter.com/GYZPMhF8qb— Bob Barnard (@barnardfox5dc) April 23, 2019
@NTSB says @washingtongas was not called when resident smelled gas 2 weeks before explosion. @mcfrs investigated on July 25 but couldn’t get into meter room and didn’t confirm leak. Same tenant smelled gas shortly before the explosion and fire on Aug 10, 2016. More @fox5dc pic.twitter.com/cn3I1AUuVu— Bob Barnard (@barnardfox5dc) April 23, 2019
@NTSB has not revealed (and may not know after 2 1/2 year investigation) the ignition source that caused the explosion. 65 people sent to hospitals that night. 3 firefighters also hurt. Collapsed building has been replaced by new building - still under construction. More @fox5dc pic.twitter.com/lpgWsBGVrn— Bob Barnard (@barnardfox5dc) April 23, 2019