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Live electrical wire on Commerce Street creates sparks, flames

 

NATCHEZ — A live electrical power line threw sparks and exploded into flames after part of a utility pole failed on Commerce Street Monday morning.

Entergy Customer Service Manager Tim Runnels said a electrical power line fell onto Commerce Street after a wooden cross arm on the top of a pole near the Historic Natchez Foundation broke.

The downed electrical line set off a series of sparks, flames and loud explosions on Commerce Street near State Street as local residents stood and watched.

Officials from the Natchez Fire Department and the Natchez Police Department responded to the incident at approximately 9:45 a.m. and closed down the street between Main and State streets.

Runnels said Entergy crews were called at 10:05 a.m. and were working to isolate the situation.

Witnesses said they heard a loud explosion, similar to a transformer blowing up. Entergy officials on the scene said the loud explosion did not involve a transformer and likely happened when live wires touched as the power lines fell into the street.

Runnels said 639 customers briefly lost power. All but one customer had power restored at 10:35 a.m., Runnels said. Runnels said the one remaining customer had power restored shortly after noon.

Runnels said they are not sure how the cross arm of the utility pole was damaged and that the cross arm will be brought into the Entergy office for inspection.

No one was injured in the incident.

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