Hydroelectric Dam Explosion Injures Utility Workers

Hydroelectric Dam Explosion Injures Utility Workers

The utility workers were hurt in an electrical explosion about 4:15 p.m. at the Priest Rapids Dam.

An explosion at a hydroelectric dam on the Columbia River injured six workers yesterday, but did not compromise the dam’s structure and posed no risk to the public.

According to a report from the Yakima Herald, the utility workers were hurt in an electrical explosion about 4:15 p.m. at the Priest Rapids Dam near Mattawa, Washington.

A surgeon at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said the serious burns to five electricians and dam operators are consistent with arc flash, according to a Seattle news agency. The Grant County Public Utility District said the explosion happened in the dam's powerhouse.

A sheriff's spokesman said that they had found no connection to terrorism or criminal activity related to the explosion. The blast caused some electrical power and cellphone outages. Those hurt had various 
levels of injuries, with some flown to hospitals and others transported by ambulance.

The Priest Rapids Dam was built in the 1950s and is one of two operated by the Grant PUD along the Columbia River to provide power to residents.

 

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