A science experiment inside one of the buildings at USC caused a small explosion tonight, but no one was injured, authorities said.
The blast was reported at 7:43 p.m. in a five-story building at 3710 S. McClintock Ave., Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
An alert issued by the university to the campus community identified the building as Ronald Tutor Hall.
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Another alert advised recipients to avoid a closed stretch of McClintock Avenue between Downey Way and 37th Place.
"There's a lot of heightened alert right now, rightfully so, and we take of all these very seriously, especially an area that has students," Batallion Chief Patrick Buttler said.
There was no structural damage to the building, which was evacuated as firefighters worked to mitigate a gas leak and a hazardous material crew investigated the explosion, Stewart said.
It was not immediately clear what type of chemicals were being used.
City News Service and Robert Kovacik contributed to this report.