Explosion Reported at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington

Giant panda cub at the National Zoo / AP


There was an explosion at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., Thursday that brought emergency response crews to the scene, according to reports.

Local ABC7 reported the explosion, which occurred on the zoo’s American Trail. Officials at the zoo confirmed the incident and said that no animals, visitors, or staff members had been injured.

According to NBC Washington, Fire & EMS hazmat units responded to the explosion, which was chemical-related. The incident occurred around 11:20 a.m. EST.

The explosion occurred in a mechanical area of the trail used for equipment storage, NBC later reported, identifying the blast as a chlorine explosion.

The explosion is said to have occurred at the beaver exhibit.

The zoo announced that the area was closed pending an investigation of the incident.

This post will be updated as further information becomes available. 

Morgan Chalfant   Email Morgan | Full Bio | RSS
Morgan Chalfant is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Morgan worked as a staff writer at Red Alert Politics. She also served as the year-long Collegiate Network fellow on the editorial page at USA TODAY from 2013-14. Morgan graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a B.A. in English and Mathematics. Her Twitter handle is @mchalfant16.

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