A city-owned parking garage in Baltimore’s Fells Point reopened Thursday after it was shut down Wednesday when a 2006 Acura, carrying chemicals in its rear, exploded and injured two people.
The vehicle’s driver told police that he put the car in reverse as he prepared to leave the garage. “The moment he put his vehicle in drive, he heard a bang and his vehicle exploded,” an incident report from Baltimore Police stated.
In the rear of the vehicle were “Acetylene B tanks, refrigerant tanks, nitrogen tanks, and other chemicals,” the report said. The Acura was “completely destroyed.”
Acetylene, which is flammable, is often used in welding.
A Baltimore City Fire Department captain determined the cause of the explosion to be accidental, per the police report.
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City engineers have deemed Caroline Street Garage, 805 S. Caroline St., safe again to park in, and people retrieved their vehicles Thursday from all levels of the five-story building, according to a news release.
The blast injured the driver and a bystander, who was “exposed to the explosion while she was opening the door to the parking garage,” the report said. Both individuals were transported to a hospital.
Four exterior glass panels to the parking garage were damaged as were at least eight other cars.
A 2018 Jeep’s rear windshield was shattered and its rear bumper smashed, a 2018 Subaru Outback also suffered a smashed windshield, and there was rear body damage, including a shattered windshield, to a 2022 Tesla, the police report said.
Other damage included a smashed bumper and brake light on a 2017 Subaru, a gas cap popping off of a 2013 Mazda, and three flat tires on a Toyota Tundra, though the report noted those could be unrelated to the explosion.
People with damaged vehicles can stop at the garage parking office to complete a claim form, the city said. An affected elevator is also back in service.