UPDATE, Nov. 17, 5:47 p.m. — Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said crews recovered a body from Building 826, the building in which the explosion took place on Wednesday.
Police Chief Marcus Jones said that the Montgomery County Department of Police’s Major Crimes Division is involved in the investigation because the body was found. He added that detectives preliminarily were looking at the situation as a criminal investigation.
Jones said police did not have the identity of the person whose body was found. He explained there was no way of knowing if the person found dead lived there, worked there, or was visiting the condominiums. The body was sent to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore. Officers hoped to have the name of the person Friday.
Jones said searches for other people would continue in order to ensure no one else was in the rubble.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Emergency crews continued their work at the site of an explosion, fire, and building collapse in Gaithersburg on Thursday.
The explosion at Potomac Oaks condominiums took down part of one of the building, forcing the evacuation of it and three nearby buildings on Wednesday.
As of Thursday morning officials said they had accounted for everyone except the person or people who lived in one of 24 units.
Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said at a news conference that 14 people were hurt in the incident, two more than initially reported on Wednesday.
Of 10 people who were taken to the hospital, only one remained there late Thursday morning. That person’s condition had improved.
Goldstein said as of Wednesday night, 12 families, consisting of 34 people, had checked in with the sheltering task force that had been established. Nine of those people needed shelter assistance. Goldstein said other people were checking in on Thursday.
The fire chief said the investigation into what caused the explosion is focused not only on gas a potential catalyst, but is looking into other sources of ignition.
Because of the way the building was constructed in 1967, which included the use of heavy concrete slabs, crews expected debris removal to take days.