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Exploding toilet injures two workers at federal building

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Restrooms are back in service at a General Services Administration building, where a toilet exploded and injured two federal workers.

The bathrooms at the GSA Regional building were declared off-limits after two Department of Homeland Security employees were injured Monday by the toilet blast, GSA spokesman William Marshall said.

At least one of the employees was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, fire officials said.

GSA sent a memo to building employees warning them not to use the bathrooms in the building.

"DO NOT flush toilets or use any domestic water. Due to a mechanical failure, there is high air pressure in the domestic water system that resulted in damage to toilets. The engineering staff is working to correct the issue," the memo read, according to WUSA-TV. "There has been damage to flushed toilets that has resulted in injuries. We will announce when the issue is resolved."

By Tuesday night, GSA said the toilets were working again, The Washington Post reported.

The explosion was due to a control system malfunction that caused a rise in pressure in the water storage tank, Marshall said Wednesday. This in turn caused the plumbing system to overpressurize and the toilets to "malfunction" when flushed, he said.