Black smoke merged with the deep blue of the Colorado River and the reds of the rocks on Tuesday as an explosion took place at the Hoover Dam.
“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,” the release said.
“There is no risk to the power grid, and power is still being generated from the powerhouse. We are investigating the cause of the fire and will provide additional updates as they are available.”
“My goodness, something’s just blown up,” a voice said in a video recorded by one tourist who heard the explosion.
— Kristy Hairston (@kristynashville) July 19, 2022
William Herro, 13, of San Francisco, said he heard a “big boom,” according to the Las Vegas Sun.
“A ton of black smoke just exploded in the air. It looked almost like a mushroom and then a fire followed,” Herro said.
Video captures a transformer at the Hoover dam briefly catching fire.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 19, 2022
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Dam management and engineers were assessing the damage and investigating how the fire started, Doug Hendrix said, a Bureau of Reclamation spokesman.
“We quickly, with our fire suppression equipment and with our fire brigade, we were able to put the fire out,” Hendrix said. “Fires are rare in power plants, but they are not out of the ordinary.”
Tours of the dam were suspended for the rest of Tuesday, but are expected to being again on Wednesday.
Adrienne Maples of Overland Park, Kansas, said her tour group was told to stay in place after the explosion.
“We had just come out the power plant and were waiting in the hallway,” Maples said. “We didn’t really know anything was up, but we were in the hallway for an unusually long period of time. We were actually already in a shelter area.”
“They said it was contained and there was no reason to worry. Nobody panicked,” Maples said.