Update: Transformer Yanked From Live Power Line

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

Some 30 gallons of oil coolant spilled across an Omaha street early Tuesday morning as a result of a botched cable theft, officials reported.

An Omaha Fire Department HazMat crew was called to the scene near 42nd & Seward just before 7 am., since Omaha Public Power District employees weren't sure what type of material they were dealing with. Some oils contain carcinogenic PCB's.

A spokeswoman, however, told Channel 6 News they quickly determined it the transformer contained only harmless mineral oil, which was used as a coolant. She said it spilled when would-be thieves, apparently, tried to take some secondary cable.

"It looked like they hooked a chain and strap up to it and just yanked it down with their vehicle," said Capt. Brad Hildebrandt, O.F.D. Special Operations Coordinator. "We don't have any witnesses or anything, we just know that someone called it in, heard a big bang or something... It was just a mess."

The mess of power lines knocked to the ground meant 40 customers lost power at first. As of late morning, it had been restored to all but ten.

Omaha Police Officer and Spokesman, Jacob Bettin, said the theft attempt and damage occurred at 5:30 a.m. He said no suspects had been apprehended yet.

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