Posting on Twitter, LUMA Puerto Rico issued a statement saying: “A fire broke out in a transformer at LUMA’s Monacillo substation. Protection systems interrupted electrical service. The restoration will begin in two hours and will continue overnight.”
Wayne Stensby, Luma’s CEO, issued an update on the situation.
The CEO said: “We don’t know the root cause (of the power station explosion) but we’ve made the situation safe & we are being in restore electricity.”
He also told the media roughly 700,000 customers are without power, and around 100,000 customers have power back.
David Begnaud, CBS Lead National Correspondent, also shared there is “no preliminary information indicating any type of criminal negligence that caused the explosion and fire at the distribution station”.
READ MORE: Puerto Rico power: More than 50% of country affected by outage after huge fire
LUMA took over transmission and distribution system of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority on June 1.
Javier Jiménez, mayor of the western town of San Sebastián, said of the incident: “This has turned into chaos.”
The town of San Sebastián established its own brigade of workers to make repairs after Hurricane Maria largely destroyed the U.S. territory’s electrical grid in 2017.
Locals complained about the delay on Twitter, with one concerned “medicines are going to be damaged” if the power outage continues.
José Aquino, a 38-year-old gymnastics instructor, said he and his family have been without power for 14 hours at a time on several occasions this week.
He said his father is a diabetic and had to throw away his insulin before buying a small cooler to store it on ice, saying: “He hasn’t had to do that since (Hurricane) Maria”.