General Crime

Bullets Damage PG&E Substation, Oil Spill Cleanup Continues

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Crews are working to clean up an oil spill that may have been caused by gunfire at a PG&E transmission substation just southeast of San Jose overnight. At about 1:45 a.m., the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and San Jose police received reports of gunfire in the area of Monterey Highway and Blanchard Road, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Kurtis Stenderup said. Officers and deputies responded but didn’t find anything out of the ordinary.

Two hours later, PG&E contacted the sheriff’s office to report a problem at the utility’s substation in the 100 block of Metcalf Road, near where the gunfire was reported. PG&E officials told the sheriff’s office that the substation’s security fence had been breached, at least five transformers had been damaged and that hazardous materials had spilled, Stenderup said. PG&E spokesman JD Guidi said oil had leaked from a transformer bank, but that the leak had been contained. “We are currently on site assessing the magnitude of the vandalism and the impact,” he said. He said there was bullet damage to the substation and that the sheriff’s office is investigating the incident.

“It does appear that there were gunshots to our facility,” he said. He said the vandalism didn’t cause any power outages. Jason King, another PG&E spokesman, said the leaked material was “the cooling oil that cools our electrical equipment there.” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jim Crawford said fire crews have responded to the substation and are standing by to assist PG&E if needed. “The majority of the spill is contained within their facility and it’s not spreading,” Crawford said. He said Monterey Highway was shut down between Metcalf and Blanchard roads; Metcalf was closed between Monterey and Malech Road; and Malech was shut down at Bailey Road. No injuries were reported.

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