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Parliament evacuated after short-circuit blast

Published: 18 Apr 2013 16:27 GMT+02:00

Norway's parliament was briefly evacuated on Thursday after a minor explosion in an electrical room, but no one was hurt, the parliament said.

Police confirmed that a short circuit had occurred in an electrical system which caused a plume of smoke and a power outage at the building in central Oslo.

"The parliament building was evacuated because of an explosive short circuit in a technical room," parliament said on its Twitter account. "No injuries were reported."

Power was restored after a few minutes, and the building was reopened shortly afterwards, it said.

Security has been heightened in Norway since the twin attacks by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik in July 2011 that left 77 people dead.

MP Per Sandberg told television news channel TV2 Nyhetskanalen that his colleagues spoke of hearing a "rumbling" and then "vibrations".

Several media outlets had earlier reported an explosion in a manhole just outside the parliament building, with one witness telling TV2 she saw a fireball that threw a manhole cover into the air.

Television footage showed police and firemen inspecting a sewage canal.

There was no sign of panic, although ambulances were sent to the area.

Authorities also cordoned off the scene to keep passersby at bay.

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