UC Berkeley Explosion Leaves 4 with Minor Burns

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The LA Times reported yesterday that an explosion devastated UC Berkeley's campus, sending four to the hospital with burns. The main campus was evacuated as a precaution.

"It was dark. It was pretty scary. We just wanted to get out of there," one student, sophomore Jesse Kay, said. Another student, 19-year-old Jay Reddy, was in electrical engineering class when the power went out. "We had to figure out how to get out of the building," he said.

When the outage happened around 6:30 pm on Monday evening, a campus staff member and several students reported hearing a boom and seeing flames as several buildings lost power. 20 people needed to be rescued from elevators in the affected building.

Twitter was abuzz with reactions and images of the incident:

Officials have stated that they believe the power outage is related to a recently discovered vandalism: an off-campus electrical station saw its copper wiring ripped out.

Dan Mogulof, the spokesman for UC Berkeley, said to reporters "We have a strong suspicion that what happened is related to vandalism discovered last week. The damage they caused may have been far more extensive than we originally thought."

The blast area was apparently two stories high, two road lanes wide, and sent at least one manhole cover flying. The explosion happened as engineers were attempting to restore power.

"Something happened here that surprised the expert... Somebody attacked our system. Somebody stole key parts of our system," Mogulof continued. "[Classes] aren't going to happen and people aren't going to come back here until we're sure we have a safe situation."

[Image via Twitter]

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