Home Fire News Four injured, including two firefighters, during Oktoberfest explosion

Four injured, including two firefighters, during Oktoberfest explosion


Benjamin Oreskes
Los Angeles Times

Two firefighters and two patrons were injured Saturday night when a transformer exploded at the Old World Village’s Oktoberfest celebration in Huntington Beach, prompting an immediate evacuation, authorities said.

A call came in after 8 p.m. about a transformer explosion at the festival, said Jeff Lopez, spokesman for the Huntington Beach Fire Department.

The injuries of the four people hurt in the underground electrical vault explosion were described as minor, an official said.

A video posted on social media showed a large fireball erupting at the site in the 7500 block of Center Avenue. Several witnesses said they heard up to three explosions.

Pat Brassil, 27, was standing outside one of the festival’s tents waiting for his fiancee and sister when he saw flames shoot out from another tent near the entrance.

He said this sent him scrambling to find his fiancee and moments after they were reunited, another blast occurred.

“It just lit up the sky,” he said. “Everyone was going pretty crazy and screaming.

“The tent exploded once and then exploded again in the same spot.”

More than 360 customers in the surrounding area were without power as of 9:50 p.m., said Susan Cox, a spokeswoman for Southern California Edison. She said the utility was still trying to determine what caused the explosion.


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