Indianapolis firefighters
Rob Goebel  /  The Indianapolis Star
Firefighters walk past the blown-out windows of the Wok-N-Go restaurant in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday. An underground explosion forced authorities to evacuate dozens of residents from a nearby condominium.
updated 1/8/2005 11:25:42 PM ET 2005-01-09T04:25:42

An underground explosion injured three people Saturday and forced authorities to evacuate dozens of residents from a downtown condominium.

The blast shortly before noon was similar to one that cut power Wednesday to about 400 downtown businesses and homes, including the federal courthouse. Officials said both explosions likely were caused by heavy rains and later freezing and thawing that triggered a series of short circuits in underground utility lines.

Saturday’s explosion buckled a bookstore’s 3-inch concrete floor into jagged 4-foot mounds and blew a steel door off its hinges. Two workers and a customer were hurt, but the extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.

Tony Bayt had just opened the front door of the store when he was blown off his feet.

“I was flying through the air,” he said while medics checked his injuries before putting him into an ambulance.

Residents of nearby condominiums were evacuated.

Saturday night, authorities evacuated a downtown theater and a ballroom after an underground transformer blew.

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