Fire extinguished at the Costa Sur plant in Guayanilla

Guayanilla – The explosion recorded tonight in two substations of the Costa Sur power plant was preceded by a noise that confused residents of ground zero, as they thought it was an earthquake.

However, upon receiving the emergency call, personnel from the Ponce and Guayanilla Fire Department confirmed that the noise was the product of a fire that left thousands of subscribers without electricity in several municipalities on the island.

According to the commander John Lambchief of the Fire Department in the Ponce area, “We were able to put out the fire in half an hour.”

“Approximately, around 8:30 pm, a strong tremor was felt in the southern area and when we received the call it was an explosion in the Costa Sur area and the units from Guayanilla and Ponce quickly arrived at the scene. We came across two substations completely on fire”, he explained when leaving the scene together with personnel from the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the Police.

“We had communication with plant personnel and they assured us that there was no electricity service and we then proceeded to put out the fire. The difficulty was practically the flame that was quite high, but we had a good flow of water, thanks to the quick response of the colleagues from Guayanilla, we were able to put it out on time and we had enough water flow and proceeded to put it out, “he added.

However, the damage assessment will be carried out on Thursday morning.

In the morning the ‘fire marshall’ will come and check the area. About half an hour,” she sentenced.

“During tomorrow the corresponding investigation will be carried out and the media will be informed of what really happened. In a power plant, anything can happen, but nothing can be ruled out either,” said Lieutenant Edwin Sepúlveda of the Fire Department.

He also explained that the situation arose in the back of the plant.

“Several pieces and others were burned inside the substation. We managed to extinguish in record time. We did not have any kind of difficulty, everything was accessible, PREPA personnel, from the company, also helped us get to the place”, he added, pointing out that “We use foam, we use foam, since what was burning are transformers and that has oil inside.”

While Ruben Diazcoordinator of Emergency Management of the State Police in Ponce, assured that the zone commander activated his emergency plan for the entire region to “be aware of gas stations, traffic lights, intersections and everything else.”

The blackout affected various municipalities around all of Puerto Rico.

Preliminary estimates from PREPA’s page indicate that some 193,483 customers were left without electricity. Carolina would be the most affected region with 52,817 subscribers without electricity.

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