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Jun 25, 2014 12:13 PM by Q2 News - Simone DeAlba

Exploding toilet rattles nerves in Stillwater County courthouse

COLUMBUS - A Stillwater County employee narrowly escaped injury earlier this week while using a courthouse restroom.

Stillwater County Deputy Treasurer Norma Brewer said a toilet exploded on Monday as she exited the stall. Brewer said she thought at first a bomb had gone off in the building.

The explosion shattered the porcelain tank and rattled nerves in the building, but no one was injured.

Brewer said Wednesday that the county will be replacing five toilets in the building as the result of the explosion and what officials learned after the mishap.

The toilet was a Flushmate III, a bran that is the subject of a voluntary recall issued two years ago by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission due to potential danger.

Flushmate has received 304 reports of the product exploding, which has resulted in both property damage and 14 impact or laceration injuries.

According to a press release issued in June, 2012, "The system can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure. This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact or laceration hazards to consumers and property damage."

There are approximately 2.3 million of the toilets in the United States.

A recall was issued from October 1997 to February 2008 for the Series 503 Flushmate III Pressure Assist Flushing System.

Read the press release regarding the recall here: http://www.americanstandard-us.com/pressroom/flushmate-recalls-flushmate-iii-pressure-assisted-flushing-system-due-to-impact-and-laceration-hazards/

(Photo courtesy of Norma Brewer)

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