September 23, 2010 by USA Post
Duquesne Light, A construction crew in Oakland hit an underground power line and caused a series of small explosions in the afternoon, leaving a swath of the area without electricity for several hours.
No one was injured. Officials closed the Fifth Avenue between vessels Avenue and Robinson Street near Carlow University as a precautionary measure while they secured a local line of natural gas had not been broken, and said fire Battalion Chief Robert Cieskolski Pittsburgh.
Duquesne Light spokesman Joseph Vallario said about 1,500 customers were without power in Oakland for nearly three hours.
A small backhoe contractor was finishing the preparations to demolish the old Three Rivers Health & Fitness Center, when it hit the 23,000-volt power line around 2:30 pm, causing three flashes explosives, according to crew Duquesne Light. A gas line owned by 6 inches Peoples Natural Gas was not affected.
Michael Oyler, 22, was in her second floor apartment on Robinson Street when he heard the first explosion. He looked out and saw the other two.
“It looked like a fireball or a big spark,” he said.
Carlow canceled a banquet for 4 pm at St. Agnes, through Fifth Avenue at the site of the explosion due to road closures and emergency vehicles. First year students had just finished a day of community service around the city, but were downloaded from the buses on Fifth Avenue and instructions to go home instead.
“With all this, unfortunately, I do not think we should bring everyone back here,” said spokeswoman Louise Sciannameo Carlow University.
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