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Transformer Explosion, Power Outage Closes UMBC For Days

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CATONSVILLE, Md. (AP) — A power outage caused by a transformer explosion has closed the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for days. 

University police chief Mark Sparks say the outage began Thursday evening when a substation switch failed, causing one of two central transformers to explode. He says several small fires were put out quickly. 

UMBC spokeswoman Eleanor Lewis says officials decided to install a bigger transformer to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. Officials hope to reopen the campus Monday morning. 

There are fewer people on campus at this time of year, but officials encouraged students living on campus to stay with family or friends off campus. Students who stayed were assigned temporary emergency housing. 

The school’s transit system is suspended until power is restored. 

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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