Four injured, three serious after fire breaks out at State Department
Four persons were injured, three serious, after a fire broke out at the U.S. State department building in Washington on Saturday noon.
It occurred "in the course of routine maintenance in the mechanical area of the main state department building,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
“The fire was quickly extinguished and the main building has been reopened for normal weekend operations,” Nuland said, adding that during the fire, “round-the-clock” operations continued with employees evacuated to a standby facility.
District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Service spokesman Lon Walls said the fire broke out at around 11 a.m. Saturday in the ductwork on the 7th floor. Workers were able to put out the fire before firefighters arrived, but three people suffered burns.
Walls said one person suffered life-threatening injuries and two others had serious but non-life-threatening injuries. All three were taken to Washington Hospital Center.
Few agency employees were in the building during the US Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The cause of the incident was under investigation, officials said.
The Seventh Floor houses the office of the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
- Asian Tribune -