Three Jamestown Board of Public Utilities workers are listed in stable condition at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, after the electrical transformer on which they were working exploded Friday morning.
The names of those involved weren't released by the BPU as of press time, but two linemen and an electrician were seriously injured in the blast.
Around 9:45 a.m., a transformer at the Board of Public Utilities' substation on Allen Street exploded, as the three men were working to replace it with another unit.
A Jamestown firefighter uses a fire extinguisher on a blown transformer while city police and firefighters discuss the situation Friday morning on Allen Street. In the foreground is burnt clothing left behind from injured BPU workers.
by Robert Rizzuto
The accident caused a momentary power surge throughout the city, and the explosion was felt in the surrounding buildings, according to a neighbor at the scene.
According to Becky Robbins, spokesperson for the BPU, the 13,000-volt transformer experienced some sort of malfunction, and the resulting explosion and fire seriously burned the employees.
City police, firefighters and AlStar medics responded to the scene, and the men were rushed to WCA Hospital by AlStar EMTs. At the substation, burned clothes and boots were scattered in front of the blown transformer while police, firefighters and BPU employees surveyed the unit.
The injured workers received initial treatment in Jamestown, but the two linemen were flown to ECMC by StarFlight while the electrician was driven there by ambulance. They are being treated at the Regional Burn Treatment Center at ECMC, which is the only unit of its kind in Western New York.
Following the accident, Dave Leathers, the general manager at the BPU, traveled to Buffalo to be with the injured employees.
More information about the injured employees and the incident will be published as it becomes available.