Alliant crews still cleaning after transformer malfunction in No - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Alliant crews still cleaning after transformer malfunction in North Liberty

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NORTH LIBERTY (KWWL) -

Alliant Energy crews still have a little cleaning up to do after a transformer exploded Thursday afternoon at a substation in North Liberty.

KWWL got video minutes after the explosion from Sherry Upton, who lives right next door to the substation and heard the explosion.

"It was like boom! It just like exploded," said Upton. The electric goes zzzzzzzzzzz and it burned for a while. Great big old flame, shot through the power company here, way up through the trees."

The malfunction shut off power to 4,200 customers in the North Liberty area for several hours.

Justin Foss, a spokesperson with Alliant says there's no real reason as to why the 45-ton transformer blew up, but says it sent shrapnel flying inside, leaving a dent in the metal building.

"Five [Alliant workers] were in there," said Foss. "They were sent to the hospital for precautionary, just to get checked out, no serious injuries. That's why we were hard hats and safety glasses."

Foss says the five worker were inside doing maintenance work when the malfunction happened.

He says crews across the state worked to replace the transformer using a huge crane. He says it would typically take a week for crews to replace a transformer, but with the tireless effort of Alliant crews, he says they did it in 26 hours.

As energy crews worked Thursday into Friday, some customers were without electricity for a number of hours.

"It was very scary, but there was lots of people here right away and you could tell they had it under control," said Upton.

As of Friday evening, all customers who lost power because of the malfunction, had it restored.

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