The opening of the Oktoberfest held in Huntington Beach was rocked by an explosion on Saturday night, leaving at least five people injured and many others in attendance shaken by the experience.
Erin Myers with KTLA in Los Angeles reported from the scene that the owner of Old World German Restaurant located in Old World Village on Center Drive noticed an odd odor coming from the underground electric vault located in the restaurant’s outdoor patio area.
On Saturday, October 5th, firefighters arrived at the location at approximately 8:00 p.m. They were being shown the location of the transformer vault by the owner of the establishment when the first explosion occurred. According to Huntington Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Lopez, the force of the blast knocked down the owner of the restaurant and two of the firefighters.
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A second explosion occurred approximately 1 minute later and a possible third explosion. Fire officials said that the fire that resulted from the explosions was minimal and was quickly extinguished. Two firefighters and the owner of the restaurant were taken for an area hospital for treatment. The firefighters were treated and released and are expected to be OK. Authorities told reporters that the owner of the restaurant suffered moderate to more severe injuries. His identity and his current condition have not been released.
Two additional people were also reported to have been injured but their condition and the nature of their injuries were not known.
The explosion of at least one of three transformers located in the vault knocked out power to approximately 300 customers, but power was before noon on Sunday. SoCal Edison has replaced all three of the transformers and is currently investigating what might have caused the transformer to explode.