October 16, 2019
Electrical explosions rock Huntington Beach Oktoberfest
HUNTINGTON BEACH - Four people were hurt after a series of explosions rocked the Old World Village complex in Huntington Beach on Saturday evening as the first blast erupted when firefighters at the scene for an electrical fire opened a ground vault, authorities told the Orange County Register.

Two firefighters and two patrons had minor injuries from the series of blasts, said Huntington Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Lopez.

Hundreds of people attending an Oktoberfest event, with many clad in German garb, stood outside of the village as dozens of police and fire vehicles blocked off Center Avenue and Huntington Beach Lane.

The onlookers watched as paramedics loaded several people on stretchers onto ambulances, which rushed away to a local hospital.

After the blasts, power appeared to be shut off at Old World and a nearby hotel.

“I pray those firefighters are OK,” Dawn Orlow-Townsend, a patron at a nearby restaurant, told KCAL9. “It was crazy, it was so intense. There was a second explosion and then a third. We just started running, we left our cellphones. We were freaking out.”

“It’s the world we live in right now. After the first explosion, you just don’t know what to think. We didn’t know what was going on. The first one, the second one — then there was mass pandemonium. By the third one, we just couldn’t get out of there fast enough, ” Orlow-Townsend said.

Multiple attendees recalled hearing and seeing the explosions take place at about 8:15 p.m. at the shopping and dining complex at 7561 Center Avenue.
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