Carbon dioxide tank explodes on APG, startling residents in Harford, Cecil

An Aberdeen Proving Ground carbon dioxide tank exploded Monday night, damaging three buildings on the post and creating a blast that was heard and felt by residents several miles away.

People from Aberdeen, Havre de Grace and even as far away as North East reported hearing the blast shortly after 10 p.m. Monday and feeling their houses shake or having items fall. At least two calls were logged and Harford County emergency responders were alerted, according to the Harford County 911 Center calls for service.

No one was injured in the explosion, according to a news release sent by the Army Test & Evaluation Command's Public Affairs Office Tuesday afternoon.

The tank was outside a building owned by the Army Test and Evaluation Command. The building next to the tank, which is used to support military testing systems, sustained "substantial" structural damage, according to the news release.

Two other buildings, nearly half a mile away, were also damaged in the blast, the Army said.

The incident remains under investigation by the Army's criminal investigation command, as well as local APG authorities, and no further information was immediately available from the military installation.

Entry to the affected building was prohibited as of Tuesday afternoon, the Army said.

"Although criminal activity is not suspected at this point in the investigation, we have not completely ruled it out in order to conduct a complete and thorough investigation," APG criminal investigation spokesman Jeffrey Castro said in the news release.

Reports about the explosion came from Giles Street in Havre de Grace and Gemini Court, which is between Havre de Grace and Aberdeen, according to the 911 Center incident reports.

At 10:13, according to the reports, a call came from the 500 block of Giles Street reporting a "possible explosion/loud bang."

Also logged at 10:13 was a call from the 2100 block of Gemini Court with a "report of possible explosion/loud bang."

A person posting on the Harford Fire & EMS Association Facebook page also reported feeling the rumbles in Cecil County: "Anyone else feel the boom a little while ago," the Facebook post read. "Shook the house a little bit ago. I'm in North East though."

Harford County government spokesman Bob Thomas initially said he thought the noise and shaking could have been from a lightning strike, as it happened at the same time as severe storms were passing through the area.

Fire companies in Havre de Grace and Aberdeen were altered to both 911 calls and sent responders, according to the chief of one of the companies.

Scott Hurst, chief of the Susquehanna Hose Company of Havre de Grace, said he felt rumbles at his home in the Grace Harbour community, which is between the areas where the two 911 calls were received.

"It really wasn't like distant thunder; it shook the house so much more," Hurst said Tuesday afternoon. "It was definitely weird when it happened."

Hurst, who said he found out the cause of the rumble earlier in the day Tuesday, confirmed his company responded to the Giles Street call.

"We checked it out, everything was OK and we cleared the scene quickly," he said.

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