A small fire and explosion at a new mixed-used building near the Santa Monica civic center on Tuesday left two workers burned, including one whose injuries were described by fire officials as critical.
The incident was reported about 11:45 a.m. in the basement area of the multi-story structure at 1725 Ocean Ave., the Santa Monica Fire Department said.
One of the workers had burns over 40% of his body, including his face, arms and chest, Deputy Chief Tom Clemo said. The victim was taken to UCLA Medical Center.
The other worker received moderate burns and was being treated at Santa Monica Hospital.
"They were doing some work in the basement area," Clemo said, "and something happened in there and created large spark or arc."
The cause of the blaze and the injuries to the workers were begin investigated by the state officials and Southern California Edison.
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