Two OPPD lineworkers injured while testing electrical equipment

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Two OPPD lineworkers were rushed to the hospital after routine testing of electrical equipment went wrong.

The incident left hundreds in the dark for a couple of hours Tuesday morning.

“We were just working at the dental office nearby and just heard a boom and then all of our power went out,” Jody Mendick said.

As houses and businesses near 52nd and Leavenworth streets went dark, neighbors were concerned with what caused the outage.

“I heard very little. I was just in a meeting and my power went out. I came outside, and an ambulance and firetruck were here,” Brett Fuller said.

OPPD said lineworkers were testing equipment this morning when an arc flash happened. That’s when electricity finds an unintended path to the ground.

The incident sent two of the lineworkers to the hospital.

Some close to Elmwood Tower at the time of the incident said they were able to see what happened.

“Someone said they saw it, evidently — that it blew up. There was smoke and flames, and somebody got hurt,” Sylvia Coons said.

OPPD said both lineworkers have non-life-threatening injuries, but the company said it would continue investigating what caused the arc flash.

Neighbors say they are worried about the crew involved.

“I just hope that everyone’s OK. It’s electrical, and if that stuff is coming over, it’s a little scary.”

All power was restored to the area.

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