Electrical vault explosion injures four in Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California

California Oktoberfest Explosion

California Oktoberfest Explosion

Firefighters had been initially referred to as to the scene for a reported electrical hearth within the underground vault.

Huntington Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Lopez said it was fortunate the injuries were not more serious, given the force and heat of the explosion.

Two firefighters were injured while investigating the initial explosion just before another one went off.

Huntington Beach is about 37 miles south of Los Angeles.

An underground electrical vault exploded at a restaurant on Saturday in Huntington Beach, California, injuring five people. A third person is still hospitalized with moderate to severe injuries, Lopez said.

The cause is under investigation.

Escamilla tells the Long Beach Press Telegram that Bischoff was severely burned in the explosions.

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Several schools and daycares in the area were briefly placed under a hold and secure order as police investigated the incident. Figueiredo said the school board will be supporting students and staff as it works with the Hamilton Police Service.

Emergency services are seen following an explosion during California Oktoberfest celebration in Huntington Beach, Calif., Oct. 5, 2019, in this picture obtained from social media video.

The injured firefighters and civilians were taken to hospitals for treatment of minor injuries, Lopez said, abut added that they were taking those injuries "very seriously". "They reported a minute or so later another explosion and they called for help".

More than 360 customers in the surrounding area were without power as of 9:50 p.m., said Susan Cox, a spokeswoman for Southern California Edison. Crews worked through the night to replace the exploded transformers and restore power.

While a heavy presence of fire and police personnel tended to the injured, hundreds of others attending an Oktoberfest event evacuated the area.

Witnesses at the scene claimed there were actually three explosions. The complex had been hosting the Old World Village Oktoberfest festival.

Witnesses told KNBC-TV there were two more explosions, which sent flames into the air.

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