Power Outage, Gas Leak at Hamlin Shopping Center

A telephone pole collapsed on its own at the Hamlin Shopping Center Friday afternoon, taking down three transformers and rupturing a gas line.

Power was cut to the shopping center, as well as at a nearby office building.

Authorities said the pole had rotten to the core, causing it to collapse. It all happened at around 3 p.m.

Some people were actually stuck inside of an elevator in the nearby office building for some time, before emergency personal could get to them.

Adding to the danger, the pole collapse also ruptured a gas line.

"When the pole went down, it severed the gas line that was feeding the Hamlin Shopping Center, and that's where the gas was coming from," said Captain Robert Planco of the Corpus Christi Fire Department. "We were able to close that, and got the gas department here to come and make repairs."

"The transformer just kind of broke apart, and all the transformer liquid got all over the place," said Miranda Fuqua, an employee at the Hamlin Pharmacy. "I think they were saying for the Hazmat to get out. A scary day."

Fortunately, Hazmat crews ended up not being needed because the liquid coming from the transformers was mineral oil. American Electric Power crews were working to restore power.


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