"Scared to pee": the case of the exploding government toilets

A toilet exploded and injured two government workers in Washington, D.C., and it took a Freedom of Information Act request from Jason Smathers to find out what actually happened: a problem with an air compressor.

As the manager finished surveying the scene, another call came in for a person injured by a toilet on a separate floor. Litsey put out an announcement that the restrooms had closed and purged the system of compressed air that had been flowing into the building’s water tank. Several other toilets were found damaged while Litsey and staff corrected the issues. The next day, as news reports circulated, Litsey’s theory was that someone had turned the compressor on manually and “left it unattended.” While the extent of the injuries is unstated in these exchanges, at least some of the employees saw the humor in the situation.

GSA emails recount inside story of exploding toilets [Muckrock]