The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Berkeley students injured in explosion

An explosion shook the campus of University of California, Berkeley last Monday evening, in what the university is calling a power system failure attributed to theft of copper wire.
As campus crews tried backing up the power system, an explosion sparked. The explosion resulted in a power outage that left the campus dark for hours.
“While we have confirmed that damage done by the theft of copper grounding wire from the university’s electrical system was responsible for the power outage, we are still investigating whether that same damage was also directly or indirectly responsible for the ensuing explosion in an underground electrical vault,” said Dan Mogulof, Executive Director of Berkeley’s Public Affairs’ Strategic Communications team.
The incident resulted in four minor injuries with only one student hospitalized with minor burns.
Mogulof believes it is highly probable the explosion was ignited by the theft of copper wires, which campus authorities discovered a week before the incident.
“The damage they caused may have been far more extensive than we originally thought,” Mogulof said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The tampering of this electrical system proved to have a dangerous outcome.
According to the LA Times, the blast area was two-stories high and as wide as two lanes on a road.
“Students were all freaking out thinking it was a terrorist attack,” Jason Spector, a sophomore at UC Berkeley said.
“It was just scary.  […] It was an experience in college I won’t forget.”
In addition to the aforementioned injuries, 20 people were reportedly trapped in dorm elevators due to the power outage.
They were eventually rescued, but most of the campus remained without power.
The campus was evacuated shortly after the incident to prevent further injury and back-up generators were brought in to restore power to main campus buildings on Tuesday.
Several classes were canceled that day even though it was mid-terms week for most students.
Pictures and videos of the fire and smoke after the explosion immediately flooded the Internet. Students and faculty posted messages about the explosion and claimed how scary the incident was.
“I got a text from a friend who was on campus and saw the explosion,” Amy Peterson, a junior at UC Berkeley said.
“I couldn’t really believe it. I thought he was joking. I didn’t seriously think anything wrong was happening until I heard sirens and the announcements coming from the speakers on campus to evacuate campus.”
This incident was a huge shock for Berkeley and will serve as an example for other universities and campuses to thoroughly check their electrical systems if tampered with.
California State University, Stanislaus held a safety drill this week to prepare for any issues such as this.

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Berkeley students injured in explosion