Transformer explosion leaves thousands without power in valley areas

- About 4,900 customers in the Studio City, Sherman Oaks and Valley Village areas were still without power this morning after an equipment failure at a distribution station knocked out electrical service to about 8,700 customers overnight in those areas.

It was reported at 8:43 p.m. Wednesday at the substation at 4250 Coldwater Canyon Ave., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Shawn Lenske.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokeswoman Vonda Paige said it was not an explosion as first reported by the fire department Wednesday evening.

As of 6 a.m. Thursday, about 4,900 customers remained without power, the LADWP reported.

"Crews responded to the scene to investigate a possible equipment explosion as reported by LAFD," LADWP spokesman Joseph Ramallo said in a statement.

"The scene was initially declared 'No Entry' by LAFD for safety reasons due to the possibility that hot oil and potentially hazardous conditions existed," Ramallo said. "Thereafter, crews were allowed to enter the affected
portions of the facility only with full hazardous materials suits to assess the damage, for safety reasons.

"As of this hour (6 a.m.), crews have identified a `feeder regulator' in the south feeder room of the facility as having failed, spraying oil and other material throughout the room and adjacent areas," Ramallo said. "The
hazardous conditions have slowed our crew's progress in restoring power to all customers."

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