Small blasts hit UO power system
Students at the University of Oregon in Eugene were plunged into darkness Monday after explosions in an underground utility system.
EUGENE, Ore. — A series of explosions hit an underground-utility system Monday at the University of Oregon, plunging several student dormitories and other buildings into darkness as crews scrambled to restore power.
Nobody was hurt, but about 3,000 students living on campus had no power in their rooms, university officials said. Campus police stepped up patrols, and the university gave away flashlights. Officials planned to bring in generators to return the buildings to normal operations, but the task wasn't completed by evening.
University officials said electrical equipment overheated, causing circuits to ignite and melt.
The blasts were audible above the ground and from several hundred feet away. A video clip from the campus showed puffs of smoke coming from a manhole cover, and university officials said smoke also was visible inside the university health building, which was evacuated and closed for the rest of the day. A slight smell of burning rubber lingered outside for hours.