A trailer truck unloading gravel struck a power line across Mesquite Village West dorms, causing an electric shortage at noon Thursday.
The 18-wheeler unintentionally made contact with a 72,000-volt overhead power cable. On site, TAMUK’s Chief of Police Felipe Garza assessed the state of the vehicle operator.
“The line was shorted out upon impact. [The driver] was able to get out safely. There wasn’t too much damage done to the service line. Once the truck is moved, AEP Texas, the electrical provider, will be able to energize the line and bring back the power,” Garza said.
Kingsville Fire Department Captain Jose “Jo” Sandoval gave an evaluation of the fire takedown through photos. The fire was put out immediately within minutes after being hosed with foam. The rear tires ignited and the trailer remained diagonally suspended until deemed suitable for movement, Sandoval said.
Fire Chief Adrian Garcia of the Kingsville Fire Department moved quickly into action upon arrival. Noticing how the 18-wheeler was creating an arc shape, the squad rushed to the driver’s aid.
“The truck appeared to be advancing forward and touched the cable…AEP will run a complete damage inspection before bringing back the electricity. The driver has been checked out [by emergency medical technicians] and has no injuries at this time,” Garcia confirmed.
Student dorms and dining halls at Texas A&M University-Kingsville were in the dark for a short time. But staff and students made the most of the situation. The dining halls provided sandwich meals for students in place of usual options. Dorm areas were without power after the incident took place.
UPDATE: Sandra Perez, director of residential dining, said power was restored to the area shortly after 1 p.m.