Restaurant owner among 5 hurt in electrical blasts

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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) - The owner of a restaurant had evacuated a dining area about 40 minutes before a series of electrical vault explosions injured him and four others during an Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California.

Revelers scrambled for safety after the blasts sent flames shooting into the sky Saturday night at Old World Village, a German-themed dining and shopping complex in Huntington Beach.

Owner Bernie Bischoff called firefighters and cleared the dining area after noticing an odd smell coming from the electrical vault, Old World spokesman Dan Escamilla says.

Escamilla tells the Long Beach Press Telegram that Bischoff was severely burned in the explosions. Two firefighters and two restaurant employees suffered minor injuries.

The newspaper says the initial blast blew a vault door off its latch.

The cause is under investigation.

Sunday's Oktoberfest events are canceled.

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