- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Investigators on Tuesday were still trying to pinpoint the exact cause of an explosion at University of California at Berkeley that injured several and sent the campus into evacuation mode.

The blast occurred shortly after a power outage rippled across the property, Monday evening, The Associated Press reported. Emergency responders had to free about 20 who were trapped in elevators when the power went out, U.C. Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

AP reported at least one person was sent to the hospital. But the student-run newspaper, the Daily Californian, said several were injured and emergency officials declared a state of emergency, ordering the entire student body and staff population to leave campus.

The power outage occurred late in the afternoon, leading to the cancellation of classes. About a half-hour later, authorities said they smelled ammonia from one of the campus buildings. Shortly after, an explosion occurred by an electrical vault, Berkeley acting fire chief Gil Doug said, in the AP report.

Authorities think the explosion may be linked to an attempted underground copper wire theft that was reported last week, Mr. Mogulof said. But investigators aren’t sure if all the Monday campus incidents were related, and they haven’t determined conclusively what caused the explosion.



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