APS still working to restore power in Phoenix after Sunday explosion

Jul 2, 2019, 10:45 AM | Updated: Jul 5, 2019, 8:48 am
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Public Service said Tuesday that it hoped to restore power to three of the four downtown Phoenix buildings still without it by Wednesday.

Power was knocked out for many buildings in the area after an explosion and underground fire Sunday night killed electrician Rick Castillo and injured another worker.

Company spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the utility should be able to get the Calvin Goode Municipal Building, the Maricopa County Administration Building and the Phoenix Convention Center South Building back online within the next day.

However, the Wells Fargo tower will require more time for a permanent solution, she said.

As of 7 a.m. Friday, the building was operating on two generators as permanent repairs are needed, according to an APS statement.

“Just like we see power lines overhead throughout neighborhoods and other parts of the city, in downtown we have miles and miles of electrical cables running underground,” Trevino said.

She added that it was a complicated project and that despite their grief, crews worked all night.

Trevino said all 6,300 APS employees are feeling the loss of Castillo.

“It is truly indescribable, the heartbreak. Safety is our culture at APS and to have something like this happen at APS is just heart-breaking,” she said.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade said a blast in an APS electrical vault at First Avenue and Washington Street erupted around 10:35 p.m Sunday. Flames were shooting out a manhole when firefighters arrived.

Castillo and the injured worker, who has not been identified, had been performing scheduled maintenance on equipment that provides power to the area, according to APS.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report. 

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APS still working to restore power in Phoenix after Sunday explosion