A woman was dead, six people were seriously injured and three homes reduced to rubble in a major gas explosion in Baltimore, a major city in eastern US state of Maryland on Monday, according to the authorities.

Emergency personnel were searching for people who might have been trapped in the debris of the three row houses in a residential neighbourhood in the northeast part of the city, local media said in a reported.

The explosion erupted shortly before 10 am local time.

According to the Baltimore Fire Department, the precise cause is still under investigation.

Baltimore Gas and Electric said that it would work to make repairs and try to determine what caused the explosion.

Workers for the utility company, Baltimore Gas and Electric, shut off gas to the entire block, according to a spokesman.

Baltimore Gas and Electric — the country’s oldest gas company — has been working to replace thousands of miles of aging gas pipes.

The effort to replace the pipes, some from the 1950s and 1960s, will take at least two decades, The Baltimore Sun reported in September.

The number of leaks increased by 75 percent from 2009 to 2016, the Sun reported.

(With inputs from agency)