Buildings were evacuated in an area near the World Bank (search) and International Monetary Fund on Thursday because of a manhole blast that was said to be a result of a transformer explosion under the street level.

Officials were working to get power shut off so firefighters could investigate the nature of the explosion, said DC Fire Department spokeswoman Kathryn Friedman. A strong smell of smoke filled the air and a couple of buildings were evacuated and office workers in the area were asked to stay inside.

Traffic in the area was snarled. No injuries were reported.

Pepco spokeswoman Mary-Beth Hutchinson said it's an ordinary incident and probably was caused by rain.

The nature of the incident is not much cause for concern but rather the location, Hutchinson said.