A man spilled 20 gallons of gasoline in the loading dock of the World Trade Center in the Inner Harbor Saturday night, Maryland Transportation Authority police said.
He walked down a public access to the loading dock adjacent to Pratt Street and gained access to a room that held cans of gasoline for a generator, police said. He spilled the fuel, and the vapors set off a fire alarm that alerted Baltimore police and fire units as well as the MdTA police, which has jurisdiction over the building. The incident happened at about 7:30 p.m., police said.
Firefighters were the first to the scene, and they were able to make contact with the man shortly after he spilled the gasoline. They negotiated with him until police arrived moments later, MdTA spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Green said.
"They were able to keep him from taking this any further than spilling fuel," Green said.
The 58-year-old man was not identified as charges are pending, but police said he is not a World Trade Center employee. He is being interviewed to determine his motive; it is not clear whether he intended to light the spilled fuel, Green said.
Alarms could be seen going off through the windows of the 31-story, five-sided skyscraper, and fire engines were blocking the right lane of a bustling Pratt Street for more than an hour Saturday night.