Scattered power outages after reported explosion affect White House, Capitol

Outages in the U.S. capital on Tuesday afternoon cut power to several government buildings, including the White House, State Department, Capitol and Justice Department.

No cause has yet been confirmed, but officials told the Washington Post there may have been an explosion at a SMECO power facility in Southern Maryland. The explosion, which reportedly occurred around 1:00 p.m., is not believed to be terror related.

A PEPCO outage map showed multiple locations around Washington, D.C., without power as of 1:30 p.m.

The State Department’s daily news briefing was suspended after power was lost. A department announcement said the main building and other nearby buildings were affected because electricity feeders were down.

The U.S. Capitol complex was operating using a backup generator, one congressional aide said. The White House briefly lost power, according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller, but quickly jumped back on the grid using backup generators.

Other government buildings lost power, including the Department of Energy and the Smithsonian Museum, the latter of which has been evacuated.

Some metro stations in Washington were running on emergency lighting, according to the city’s transportation authority.

Power company PEPCO was not immediately available for comment.

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This article originally appeared at Reuters. Copyright 2015. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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