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Power back on in Lagoon Drive area after light show, loud noises

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Electrical pyrotechnics caused a power outage near the Honolulu Airport Saturday evening.

Witnesses said they saw four explosions over a two-block span of power lines starting around 7:15 p.m.

But Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman Peter Rosegg took issue with that characterization.

“There might have been some pops,” he said. “There was not anything we would call an explosion.”

Traffic signals at several intersections in the Lagoon Drive area from Nimitz Highway heading makai were without power until about 8:30 p.m.

Additionally, Rosegg said about 250 customers in the airport industrial area were apparently without power, including the outside of the Best Western Plaza Hotel. Electricity was also out to several blocks on the Diamond Head side of Lagoon Drive. 

Power was restored by 8:50 p.m., he said.

Rosegg said the cause of the outage was a “cable fault.”

The incident happened at the makai-Diamond Head, or southeastern, corner of Waiwai Loop and Lagoon Drive, said Capt. Robert Main, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman.

According to witnesses, the first explosion caused a transformer box to fall onto the sidewalk fronting a Chevron station. The flaming box appeared to have generated errant reports of the Chevron sign being on fire.

While the sign was unaffected, the box did apparently leave a 5-foot hole in the pavement. An HPD officer was assigned to watch over the hole overnight.

Chevron clerk Julie Salla was in the back of the convenience store when she heard the first boom.

“I came out just when the second explosion happened five seconds later and it looked like fireworks going off,” Salla said. “It was scary. I ran out of there and called 911. I didn’t know what was happening. I just knew I had to get out.”

There were no injuries, Main said.

"Whatever blew in there caused an arc and blew out the Chevron sign," he said.

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