Thursday, October 3, 2013

Berkeley copper theft, the havoc which could occur anywhere

Time Magazine/Crime/Josh Sanburn, 10/1/13.  "Copper theft gets weirder-- and more dangerous.  Stolen metal wires at UC-Berkeley, linked to a Monday night explosion that injured four people, is the latest in a series of bizarre heists." 

Next time how about we just pay you off, then jail you?
"Copper theft has been a serious problem in the U.S. since about 2006, but the precious metal raids took a turn for the spectacular this week as a suspected robbery likely resulted in a massive explosion on a California campus, injuring four people Monday night.

Officials at the University of California, Berkeley, said thieves harnessed heavy equipment to haul the copper out of the ground, according to the San Jose Mercury-News. On Monday night, a UC-Berkeley spokesman said the damage was more extensive than originally thought.

Officials are blaming last week’s copper theft, which occurred at an electrical station off campus, for a power outage on campus that occurred two hours before the explosion. As electrical workers tried to fix the outage, an electrical vault on campus exploded, injuring four people and trapping about 20 in elevators in nearby buildings."   Read article.

Related - ABC News/Associated Press, 10/1/13. "Copper theft seen as source of UC Berkeley outage." "Power was restored to most of the University of California, Berkeley, on Tuesday as officials confirmed that the theft of copper cables from a substation caused a campus-wide outage that preceded an explosion and evacuation.  ....  During Monday's power outage, fire crews had to free about 20 people stuck in dormitory elevators. Students were able to sleep in the dorms, which have back-up generators.  ....  Eleven buildings, including the main library, athletic facilities adjoining the campus soccer and track stadium, and the arena used by the basketball and gymnastics teams remained without power.  More than 100 classes normally held in three of the affected buildings were canceled." 

Note:  photograph by Kelly Fang/Daily Californian 9/30/13 from the Los Angeles Times, 10/1/13.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

No comments: