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PG&E Employee Hospitalized By Exploding Transformer In Hayward

HAYWARD (CBS SF) -- A PG&E employee remains hospitalized after he was injured when a transformer he was working on exploded and knocked out power to more than 400 customers on Wednesday night, police and utility officials said.

PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said the employee, who she said was a "troubleman" who worked as a first responder to electrical problems, is being treated at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, but privacy rules prohibit her from releasing information on the extent of his injuries or his condition.

California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) spokesman Frank Polizzi, who described the employee as a lineman, said he suffered burn injuries while he was working on a transformer from an elevated bucket truck and the transformer caught fire.

Polizzi said Cal/OSHA has opened an investigation with PG&E to determine the cause of the incident and correct any violations of workplace safety regulations.

Sarkissian said the employee had responded to a voltage problem on Santa Clara Street near Ocie Way at about 9 p.m. Wednesday. She said the transformer "failed" at about 10:15 p.m., injuring
the employee and causing a power pole, PG&E truck and another vehicle to catch fire.

Sarkissian said PG&E isn't describing what happened as an explosion because it's still investigating the incident to find out exactly how it happened.

She said the power outage initially affected 402 customers but power was restored to all but 18 customers by 8 a.m. today and to all customers by 1 p.m.


© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


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