Firefighting

Explosions and Fire at St. Louis Building

A fire and explosion that apparently started in an underground electrical transformer sent fireballs and thick black smoke shooting from a street outside one of the largest office buildings in downtown St. Louis, reports The Associated Press.

No injuries were reported.

Several hundred people were evacuated from the 36-story One US Bank Plaza building after explosions occurred in the street outside just before 5 p.m. The building is across from the St. Louis Convention Center, and construction work has been underway in the area for a couple of months.

The cause was not immediately known, but Fire Capt. Daniel Sutter said it originated in an underground vault that houses an electrical transformer. Sutter said the initial suspicion was that the transformer caught fire.

Crews from utility company Ameren Missouri were working to cut off electricity at the site of the hole in the pavement so that firefighters could extinguish the fire.

Occasional fireballs and heavy smoke rose from the hole just a few feet from the edge of the building, which crews were hosing down.

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