Toilet explodes at GSA building, injuring at least one employee


After a toilet exploded at a General Services Administration building, sending a female employee to the hospital with serious injuries, the bathrooms were declared off limits.

So was any information about Monday’s mishap at 7th and D streets Southwest, the GSA’s headquarters for the capital region.

An internal memo issued to building employees warned them not to even attempt to go to the bathroom at work.

“DO NOT flush toilets or use any domestic water,” read the memo, first reported by WUSA News Channel 9. “Due to a mechanical failure, there is high air pressure in the domestic water system that resulted in damage to toilets.”

GSA spokesman William Marshall Jr. issued a statement Monday night describing a “building mechanical incident” that injured at least one employee.

By Tuesday night, after the exploding toilet story had gone viral on the Internet (a symbol of Washington dysfunction?), the statement was re-issued with assurances that the toilets were working again. The incident is “under investigation” to prevent it from happening again, the statement said.

Marshall declined to be interviewed about what caused the explosion, how many workers were affected or the condition of the woman who was hospitalized.

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Lisa Rein covers the federal workforce and issues that concern the management of government.


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