ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Georgia Power blamed a "transformer failure" for loud explosions, sounds of grinding metal, and billowing smoke seen coming from manhole covers in Midtown Atlanta Wednesday.
Firefighters responded to the scene at Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue Wednesday morning. According to officials, a series of underground electrical explosions were reported.
Officials with Atlanta Fire and Rescue told FOX 5 witnesses reported at least a large explosion that left smoke coming from grates running near the sidewalk.
"In those grates and underground is a Georgia Power vault that supplies the power to this area, including the hospital," a spokesperson for Atlanta Fire and Rescue said. "Once those explosions did happen, it tripped a large transformer breaker system just a few blocks away from here. That cut the power to those transformers which in turn put the fire out, causing the explosions to cease."
In a statement, Georgia Power confirmed that a transformer failed on Wednesday morning, but said that they believed "the issue is isolated to this single transformer and no manhole covers were blown as reported."
Emory Midtown Hospital, though close to the explosions, was not evacuated and said patient care continued as normal thanks to hospital generators.
On Thursday, Georgia Power spokesperson John Kraft said workers had removed the failed transformer and replaced it with a new one.
Kraft said workers will spend Thursday attaching cables to the new transformer.
By mid-day Thursday, all but one lane of Peachtree Street had reopened. Kraft said the final lane would reopen by 7 a.m. Friday.