An off-campus power outage left about 100 students without power for more than five hours yesterday as workers tried to fix the damaged wires that caused the problem. According to PECO Energy employee Rob Harvey, high winds caused a rotted tree branch to fall, severing electrical wires on Chancellor Street between 40th and 41st streets at about noon yesterday. Although live wires carrying 13,200 volts of electricity lay exposed on the ground for a few hours, Harvey said, no one was injured. Philadelphia and University police, Bell Atlantic and PECO all responded to the safety hazard almost immediately. College junior Jake Rosenberg said he was walking down Chancellor Street right before the explosion and that he "almost got killed by it." "It hit power lines and a transformer and huge blue flames were coming off it," he added. Rosenberg said he walked under the power lines less than 10 seconds after they fell and that he actually saved his friend and himself from life-threatening danger. "My friend that I was walking with is very into stopping and looking into things and he wanted to stop and look at a blue plastic bag that was blowing around in the wind," Rosenberg said. "I said, 'It's just the wind.' I saved our lives." Students who lived in the buildings surrounding the scene of the explosion were left without power from about noon until about 5 p.m. when the damage was repaired. They said that their day was severely inconvenienced. "It's pitch black in our house and I'm stuck here because there are no lights and I'm not even going to attempt to go downstairs," said College junior Melissa Shingles, who lives on 41st Street. Other students stayed out of their houses all day because of the explosion. "We just had to leave," said College senior Courtney Miller, who also lives on 41st Street. "We live in the basement and no light can get in anyway." Students said the biggest setbacks caused by lack of power were not being able to hear the ring of cordless telephones, having food spoil in warm refrigerators and not being able to watch Sunday football games.Comments powered by Disqus
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