Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

"Flash Event" Injures Two Edison Employees and Darkens Santa Monica North of Wilshire

Southern Edison itself to blame for power outage, as cherry picker carrying lineman hits wire.

 

Edison employees working tonight to restore power could not predict when the electricity would return.

Update, Friday morning, 11:30: “I can confirm that there was a flash event last night,” said David Song, SCE’s public affairs officer. “It did not involve a transformer.”

“First there was what we at Edison call a maintenance outage, meaning we shut off the power to a limited area, in order to perform maintenance.”

“When our crew re-energized the system, there was a flash event. Two men who were working in the basket area of the hydraulic lift, were injured during the flash event. They were taken to local hospitals, treated and released.”

“I can’t comment on the two men’s injuries due to privacy considerations. We are investigating what caused the outage at this time. We cannot say at this time, that inadvertence or error on the part of our crew, caused the flash event."

At about 9:45 pm Thursday evening May 4th, residents North of Wilshire East of Lincoln Blvd saw a bright flash, heard an electrical buzz and then the power went out.

Southern Edison had been working on local power lines throughout the day, replacing four power poles. Several cherrypickers were spotted in the neighborhood with Edison employees aloft in them.

Paramedics arrived shortly after the flash to tend to an employee who appeared to be injured lying on the ground. A nearby resident has reported that a man working in a bucket lift accidentally hit a power line, causing the transformer to short and then explode. A shower of sparks was visible throughout the neighborhood as a flash of light lit up the night.

Edison crews and cherry pickers working to replace old power poles earlier today.

A tenant who is out on his balcony said the arm with a bucket on the end occupied by an Edison employee, accidentally hit a power line causing a transformer to blow and the man on the bucket was injured. He is expected to make a full recovery and his injuries are not serious. By some reports, he fell out of the bucket after the transformer blew, but his harness prevented a further fall.

The ongoing outage covers the area between Lincoln and 10th, and between California Avenue and Montana Avenue. One resident north of Montana has written us to say that the power outage also extends north of Montana Avenue. North of San Vicente, the power outage extends W. 14th St. to Ocean Avenue and to the north city boundary, says Parks Commissioner Phil Brock

Southern California Edison replaced the blown transformer. Electrical power was restored to all of Santa Monica before dawn. Electricity was restored East of 9th Street around 11 pm. Some residents North of San Vicente say their power was restored by 11:30 pm PST.

This article, which was originally dictated on an iPhone at a dark street corner, has been updated several times.

 
 

Reader Comments
(1)

Ally writes:

There is no PST in May.

 
 
 

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