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Senators: Feds must wrap up probe into deadly Maryland blast

In this March 1, 2015, file photo, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., speaks during at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington. Cardin says it’s in his DNA to be the Democrats’ top Senate negotiator on Iran, a role he’ll play next week when the Foreign Relations Committee opens difficult hearings on the issue. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

In this March 1, 2015, file photo, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., speaks during at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

SILVER SPRING — Maryland’s two U.S. senators say federal investigators need to wrap up an inquiry into an explosion that destroyed two Washington, D.C.-area apartment buildings and killed seven people in 2016.

News outlets report Sen. Chris Van Hollen asked that National Transportation Safety Board representatives brief his staff in person by early December. A spokeswoman for Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin says he has also asked for an update.

Meanwhile, lawsuits that could bring relief to some victims are stalled while the NTSB finishes investigating the Silver Spring blast. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concluded it stemmed from a gas leak in a utility room housing the complex’s meters.

NTSB officials say thorough investigations take time and cited staffing issues. Robert Hall with the NTSB says he expects to issue a final report on the investigation next year.


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