MANASSAS, Va. - At least a couple hundred homes were without power in Prince William County Wednesday evening after an underground transformer exploded, according to authorities.
The Manassas Fire Department responded to the area of Sudley Road where smoke could be seen coming out a manhole on the street.
Mannassas Fire Dept. On scene of an underground fire that may be responsible for nearby power outage. pic.twitter.com/s62p6axPtn— Van Applegate (@VBagate) July 27, 2016
Manassas but with your fire chief says blown transformer underground cause power outages, still smoking. pic.twitter.com/FYDrNya7py— Van Applegate (@VBagate) July 27, 2016
"Boom!" Manassas resident Steve Joiner described. "And sparks. I thought it was fireworks at first and then I said that is not fireworks. Then I saw the manhole flipping after each explosion."
"We tried to stop traffic and some woman got right beside it and it blew up again," said Richard Iames. "She wouldn't listen to us, so just lucky she didn't get hurt."
Fire officials believe residents blasting air conditioning all at once on Wednesday placed extreme pressure on the system and led to the blown transformer. The fire chief said this happens often during this time of year.
The power outage impacted between 200 to 300 homes in Manassas. Crews initially rerouted power while working to fully restore it. It remains unknown when the power will be fully restored to residents.