CenterPoint workers caught in electrical explosion in Houston

Five CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) workers were critically injured Thursday after being shocked while working at a building in downtown Houston, reports local CBS News affiliate KHOU.

According to the article, the incident occurred around 10 a.m. at the Southwestern Bell building as workers were servicing an underground electrical vault when it suddenly flashed, catching fire and shocking them.

The explosion is said to have been heard from blocks away. Employees inside the building said there was a sudden loss of power, before they were evacuated as a precaution.

Officials said the workers were hit with about 480 volts of electricity, resulting in significant electrical burns. All five were transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. Latest reports on the health of the crew have one listed in critical condition, two as serious, and the remaining two as fair.

“The vault is located just outside, although it is not connected, it has a strong protective barrier around it,” a spokesperson for the Houston Fire Department told KHOU. “But the workers were inside when it flashed, that’s why they sustained the majority of the injuries.”

The cause of accident is currently under investigation.  

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