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UC Berkeley explosion: Generators hauled in to restore power

UC BerkeleyTheftRentalsMark Twain

Campus officials at UC Berkeley have brought in temporary generators to restore power to key buildings following an outage and explosion earlier this week.

The explosion -- which prompted an evacuation -- rocked the campus at 6:30 p.m. Monday, about two hours after a power system failure, said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. At least four people sustained minor injuries. 

Perhaps most crucial to keeping classes on schedule is the generator officials rented to restore power to Dwinelle Hall, "where hundreds of students are scheduled to take midterm exams this week," according to the UC Berkeley public affairs office.

Another generator was brought in to restore climate control for the Doe and Bancroft libraries, which officials said house vast collections, including the Mark Twain Papers and ancient Egyptian Tebtunis Papyri, among others. 

And generators were also expected to restore power to California and Durant halls.

Mogulof has said the blast and fire north of California Hall on Monday was likely caused by the theft of copper wire from an off-campus electrical system. 

The theft had been discovered last week and repaired, but Mogulof said "the damage they caused may have been far more extensive than we originally thought." 

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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UC BerkeleyTheftRentalsMark Twain
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