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Power outage darkens Orange County courthouse, traps two in elevators

June 2, 2009 | 10:52 am

Two transformers exploded in the Santa Ana Civic Center area this morning, triggering a power outage that trapped two people in elevators and darkened government buildings and residences. About 1,600 were left without power.

At about 8:05 a.m., fire department officials found two blown transformers in the area of North Olive and West 3rd street, said Santa Ana Fire Department Capt. Chris Caswell. A subsequent explosion sent a 12,000-volt power line to the ground and caused the power outages, he said.

Two people were stuck in elevators for about 20 minutes, Caswell said. One woman was jammed between the 6th and 7th floors of Orange County Superior Court. Firefighters used high-pressure airbags to break open the elevator doors and lowered a ladder to the woman. Another woman was trapped in an elevator of an apartment building on West 3rd Street.

Southern California Edison responded and cut the power line on the ground at about 9 a.m. and restored much of the power in the next hour, Caswell said.

There were still scattered outages throughout the area as of 10:45 a.m., including the courthouse.

-- My-Thuan Tran