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Explosion & Fire In Substation Leaves Some 100,000 Without Electricity On South Side of San Jose

The blaze light up the night sky in Desamparados

Q COSTA RICA – An explosion Wednesday evening at the Porvenir de Desamparados electrical substation left some 100,000 people on the south side of San Jose without electrical power for more than 6 hours.

The explosion around 7:00 pm Wednesday caused a fire inside the substation affecting principally all of Desamparados and Aserrí, as well as areas of Plaza Gonzalez Viquez, Barrio La Cruz, Barrio San Cayetano, San Francisco de 2 Ríos, Cristo Rey, Barrio Los Ángeles, and de Zapote in San José.

By 1:30 am, the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) – National Light and Power Company – confirmed that it had re-established electrical power to 85% of the homes and up to 95% by 7:00 am.

Gustavo Mata, the Minister of Security, by way of Twitter informed that additional police officials were sent into to Desamparados during the blackout.

The explosion caused damage to some nearby homes, electrical lines, and one light post. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

Screen capture from morning television news

Preliminarily, the cause of the explosion is believed to be a failure in a protective equipment, but the analysis will be made today, Thursday. “We were dazzled to see what had happened, but immediately we moved to restore electrical service,” said the director of the CNFL, Luis Fernando Andrés.

Screen capture from morning television news

The substation is shared with ICE, CNFL’s parent company. ICE is responsible for the high voltage in the country, while the CNFL provides connections to residences and businesses.

Some 50 CNFL employees worked to restore power during the emergency, while the Bomberos (Fire Department) had 10 units and 35 firefighters to control the blaze.