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Investigation begins into transformer explosion at Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam on the Colorado River Drought © iStock - ngc4565
Cole Lauterbach

(The Center Square) – Officials have begun to examine what could have caused a transformer to explode at the Hoover Dam. 

Videos from tourists show a loud sound followed by a piece of machinery bursting into flames alongside the dam’s wall Tuesday morning. In a statement, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director Jaci L. Gould revealed the equipment that failed.

“At approximately 10 a.m. (PDT) the A5 transformer at Hoover Dam caught fire and was extinguished by the Reclamation/Hoover fire brigade at approximately 10:30 a.m. There are no injuries to visitors or employees,” Gould said. “There is no risk to the power grid and power is still being generated from the powerhouse.”

The department said it would investigate the cause of the fire and provide additional updates as they become known. 

The dam, one of America’s largest hydroelectric generation facilities, provides power to residents in bordering Arizona and Nevada but also to southern California. 

“My office is monitoring this closely and we’re thankful for the quick work of our emergency responders to make sure no one was injured,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted Tuesday afternoon. 

Reclamation Public Affairs Officer Michelle Helms told The Center Square Wednesday that investigations such as this take time and that the department would announce updates when appropriate.