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Two OPPD linemen injured while testing electrical equipment

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Two OPPD linemen have been rushed to hospital after routine testing of electrical equipment went wrong.

The incident left hundreds of people in the dark for a few hours on Tuesday morning.

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

As homes and businesses near 52nd and Leavenworth streets darkened, neighbors worried about the cause of the outage.

“I have heard very little about it. I was just in a meeting and my power went out. I got out and an ambulance and a fire truck were there,” Brett Fuller said.

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

The incident sent two of the fitters to hospital.

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

“Someone said they saw it, obviously – it exploded. There was smoke and flames, and someone was injured,” Sylvia Coons said.

The OPPD said both linemen had non-life-threatening injuries, but the company said it would continue to investigate the causes of the arc flash.

Neighbors say they are worried about the crew involved.

“I just hope everyone is doing well. It’s electric, and if this stuff happens, it’s kind of scary.

All power has been restored to the area.

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