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3 DWP workers injured in blast

The men are burned in a flash explosion of a transformer they were installing downtown.

August 21, 2007|Tiffany Hsu | Times Staff Writer

Three city Department of Water and Power employees were in critical condition Monday after being burned when a transformer exploded near downtown Los Angeles.

The workers were installing a 34.5-kilovolt transformer in the 2300 block of East Olympic Boulevard when it exploded, said DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo.

The men, whom Ramallo would not name but said were veteran employees, were "very seriously burned" and taken to County-USC Medical Center.

"It is not clear whether any of the employees came into contact with an actual power source, though it is thought that one of them may have," Ramallo said.

The DWP plans to conduct a full investigation into the accident, he said.

The flash explosion is believed to have occurred at ground level in a building under construction, Ramallo said. The workers were installing the transformer for a new commercial client.

The men were the only DWP employees at the site at the time of the explosion, Ramallo said. Each man is believed to have been with DWP for more than 20 years.

Once stabilized, the workers are expected to be transferred to the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital, Ramallo said.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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