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ST. LOUIS — A man with an assault rifle walked into a business Thursday and shot at least three people, police said. Their conditions were not immediately known.

The shooting occurred around 6:30 a.m. at the ABB Power plant on the city’s north side and two hours later, police believed the gunman was still in the building. Details about the victims were not immediately known.

Swiss-based ABB Group makes power transmission and industrial automation equipment. The company manufactures transformers at the St. Louis site, according to its Web site. It wasn’t immediately known how many people work at the plant.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Web site, citing dispatcher reports, said some employees ran to the rooftop to escape the gunfire. The Web site said dispatchers described the gunman as wearing a tan coat and carrying a semiautomatic weapon.

KMOV-TV reported that nearly three dozen emergency vehicles circled the sprawling plant on a day made more chaotic by several inches of snowfall that have snarled traffic in the St. Louis region.

ABB has operations in roughly 100 countries, employing about 120,000 people. Last October, ABB reported third-quarter earnings of more than $1 billion.

Phone messages and e-mail interview requests left Thursday by The Associated Press with Thomas Schmidt, an ABB corporate spokesman in Zurich, Switzerland, were not immediately returned.

Calls to the St. Louis business went unanswered Thursday morning.


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