Power system failure causes explosion, leaving one student with minor injuries

UC Berkeley experienced a widespread power outage at approximately 4:40 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 30) that led to an explosion in an underground steam tunnel, leaving at least one student with minor injuries.

The student with minor injuries was transported to a medical facility and later released. Up to four other people with minor injuries declined aid. The affiliation with the campus of those who declined medical aid is unknown.

As of 11:15 p.m., partial power to the campus has been restored. Efforts to get the rest of the campus back online will continue throughout the night.

During the outage, approximately 20 people had been stuck in elevators in affected buildings, but all were freed by 8:30 p.m.

The campus outage led campus officials to cancel evening classes and request that labs be safely shut down. At 6:40 p.m., the power system failure led to an explosion and subsequent fire in an underground steam tunnel on central campus, between California and Durant halls. The explosion led to a call for an evacuation of campus. The fire was extinguished by 8:15 p.m.

People are being asked to stay away from the main campus until full power is restored, but the residence halls have been cleared for students to return.

Throughout the evening UC Police has sent updates via the emergency WarnMe alert system that goes out to the campus community.

Officials are evaluating the situation to determine when classes will resume. Another update is expected to be available by 6 a.m. Tuesday. Updates will continue to be posted on the UC Berkeley home page, the UC Berkeley emergency page, the campus Facebook page and Twitter site, and the toll-free campus emergency information line at 1-800-705-9998.