Transformer explosion in Bernal Heights sends two men to hospital

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A transformer exploded and injured two men, but residents say it is not the first incident that has happened in the neighborhood. (KGO-TV)

A transformer explosion in Bernal Heights this weekend sent two men to the hospital. One man, knocked unconscious, was released from the hospital on Monday and says he's happy to be alive.

On Coleridge Street and Heyman Avenue, Manuel Cruz was hurled several feet by Saturday morning's explosion. Neighbors say this isn't the first electrical fire on that block and they want PG&E to do something about them and fast.

Cruz says he's feeling a little better. His friend, Robert Antonelli, was also injured in the explosion, but not as seriously.

Antonelli sent us photos of Cruz in the hospital this weekend, but he didn't want to talk with us on camera saying he's been advised by a lawyer against talking with the media. Still, he described to us what happened in vivid detail.

The explosion happened Saturday morning where there was a grate over a transformer box. Crews have placed a steel plate over it for the meantime.

Cruz was standing over the grate when he was hurled into the street.

Neighbor Paul Woodford ran out of his house to see what happened. He told ABC7 News he "came out, [saw] nothing there. Looked the other way, saw a man lying on the ground, saw smoke coming out of the sidewalk."

PG&E crews were in the neighborhood all day Saturday assessing the damage. Power was restored Sunday morning. The company released a statement on this explosion that reads in part: "The safety of the public and our customers is always our top priority. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the two people who were hurt in this incident."

Residents on this street say there have been other electrical box fires in this neighborhood. So this weekend's incident with two injuries is upsetting.

"Obviously, all these transformers are about the same age, and they should be replaced. My understanding is that this one was actually inspected recently and my neighbor was told it was fine," Woodford said.

A PG&E spokesperson says the company is still trying to figure out what caused this explosion.
Related Topics:
explosionPG&Eburn injuriesBernal HeightsSan Francisco
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