LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Power was restored on Friday to 12 downtown buildings after an underground electric generator exploded in a downtown L.A. high-rise on Thursday night, rupturing pipes, causing some flooding and injuring a handful of people.
The building where the explosion occurred was still without power on Friday evening, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The building, 811 Wilshire Blvd., had been red-tagged, meaning it cannot be occupied.
Two people were hospitalized and two others suffered minor injuries from the explosion, which occurred at at 10:17 p.m. Thursday.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by firefighters.
A representative of the commercial building’s landlord, Jamison Services, said initial reports that the blast occurred in a basement generator that provides power to the building were untrue. He said the building’s power generator is located on a parking structure across an alley from the building. He said the structural damage to the building was not extensive.
Private contractors and engineers are working with city building inspectors to make sure the 19-story structure can be safely occupied. The building was red-tagged since the explosion made the electrical and fire-safety systems inoperable.
DWP staff were at the scene on Friday to assess the damage, which included the pooling of a large volume of water on the building’s first sub-level as a result of ruptured pipes.
Firefighters on Thursday night helped evacuate some occupants from the building, but no rescues were needed. A man and a woman were hospitalized for back pain and a headache. Two other injured parties were examined at the scene but declined treatment, Humphrey said. The building was largely unoccupied at the time of the explosion.
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