BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. –A thunderous explosion rocked Georgia Power’s Planet Bowen in Bartow County on Thursday. People who live nearby the plant told FOX 5 that the explosion sounded like a bomb went off, but only two minor injuries were reported.
Georgia Power said the explosion occurred in the generator of a unit that was being brought down for a maintenance outage when the explosion took place around 4 p.m.
Mark Williams of Georgia Power said the explosion was believed to be mechanical. He said they are investigating the cause of the explosion.
Georgia Power said that there was no fire when the explosion occurred. After the blast, all non-essential employees at the plant were sent home, according to the company.
According to Georgia Power’s website, Plant Bowen, a coal-fired power station in Euharlee, Ga., is the “second largest generating plant in the Western Hemisphere.”
Williams said that the cooling towers were not affected.
The explosion knocked the plant out of commission, forcing Georgia Power to use other plants to cover the electricity that would have been produced at Plant Bowen.
“This is not a peak demand time for us. It’s not the middle of the summer when we need more generating needs. We have more than sufficient generating needs to cover it,” Williams said.
It is not known how long it will take Plant Bowen to get back online.