NTSB joins investigation into deadly apartment explosion and fire

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Flower Branch Apartments explosion site in Silver Spring, Md.

SILVER SPRING, MD — The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the deadly explosion and fire at the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring, Maryland.

According to Montgomery County Police, there were seven deaths and dozens of people were injured during the blast that happened on August 10.  NTSB said that investigators from the Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations have been at the scene since last Thursday.  NTSB said investigators have been helping the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue in the investigation of the explosion’s source.

According to the NTSB press release, representatives from the Washington Gas Company have helped with evidence recovery and system testing.

The NTSB said Senior Pipeline Investigator, Ravi Chhatre, will serve as the investigator-in-charge and will be continuing on-site work through the week, including evidence collection.