BOOM! The power is out – but now it’s back in Union City

An explosion shook the building of the Ministry of Public Works and Electricity in Union City early yesterday afternoon. Few people in the village heard what happened to cut off their electricity. But the employees and a guest of the DPW and Electric building village certainly did.

The explosion destroyed a key part of the city’s electrical network. Fortunately, none of the village employees inside the building were injured. The same goes for local firefighters who quickly rushed to the scene to help put out a resulting small fire in the building. Two firefighters, however, were stricken with heat exhaustion but recovered quickly.

The electricity in the small village of around 2,500 inhabitants was cut off until around 10 p.m. It was gone a bit. Then a big system fuse blew, putting the village back in the dark. Further repairs were made and the system was brought back online around 10:30 p.m. So far everything seems to be working fine.

The village, less than 20 miles south of Battle Creek, posted regular updates on its Facebook page, followed by photos of some of the damage.

The city’s electrical system workers are now trying to figure out exactly what created the conditions for the blowout to occur.

The village describes the problem as follows: “A line that supplies power to the entire village electrical system inside 106 Coldwater Rd experienced a major malfunction, caught fire and caused an explosion. This line connects the substation and our switchgear and was running about 4 megawatts of power when it failed.That’s high, but not unusual and within the capabilities of our 5MW system.

The village credits the local fire department with responding quickly and effectively.
“The Union City Fire Department did an excellent job keeping our building intact and battling a delicate electrical fire in a highly energized building where the fire had spread to an attic. We greatly appreciate the help from everyone and that this team took a potential 2+ day outage and got us back up and running in about 8 hours.”

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