Transformer Explosion Rocks South Beach, Shuts Down Española Way

A transformer has apparently exploded in the heart of South Beach, rattlings windows, shutting off power for blocks and partially closing nearby Española Way. Details are still sparse but the explosion happened around 6:30 p.m. and police have since surrounded the scene and shut down pedestrian access to the area.

"It felt like it was about to blow my bedroom window out," said a shirtless man in shorts and flip flops who lives in the building next door and who declined to give his name.

The explosion could be heard from blocks around and resulted in what another witness at the scene described as "big fucking balls of fire." A fire started nearby as a result in a building at the corner of Española Way and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Riptide has left messages with Miami Beach police spokespeople, but haven't heard back yet.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.