Agency evacuated after gas explosion

Nine people were injured Tuesday afternoon after a “significant explosion” rocked CAA’s new Century City digs.

Workers from the Gas Co. were turning on service to the agency’s first-floor kitchen when a gas blast caused a brief flash fire around 2 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Dept. spokesman Ron Myers. Myers called it a “significant explosion” that resulted in “moderate damage” to the kitchen area and an adjacent wall.

No sustained fire resulted from the blast, limiting any damage or injuries.

All nine people injured were sent to local emergency rooms. Three of the injured worked for the Gas Co., while the other six were employees of the building, Myers said.

Injuries ranged from “flash burns to some aches and pains from being thrown around,” Myers said.

Shortly after the blast, CAA staffers evacuated the building. One witness told Daily Variety that at least nine fire engines responded to the blast. Hundreds of BlackBerry- and cell-phone-toting agents and assistants could be seen trying to conduct business in the drizzle outside the building.

Staffers were back in their offices within the hour. Myers said fire department officials cleared out within 90 minutes.

The Gas Co. is expected to conduct an investigation into the cause of the blast.

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