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Two Blasts Rock Downtown Des Moines


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The apparent cause of explosions beneath downtown Des Moines streets is believed to be a short in underground cable wires and not natural gas.

No injuries have been reported. An apartment building and hotel were evacuated as a precaution.

The power will be cut to a downtown hotel, a federal government building, the YMCA and the Capital Square office building for about two hours as repairs are made.

Police were called just before 2:45 a.m. to the area of 4th Street and Court Avenue by an explosion that blew manhole covers off the street. Another explosion followed about 10 minutes later less than a quarter mile from the first.

Officers reported flames shooting 4 to 5 feet into the air from the second explosion.

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