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Implosion of smokestacks at Cheswick Generating Station causes unexpected outages

Smoke emerges from a tall stack.
Keith Srakocic
In this file photo from June 10, a flume of emissions flow from a stack at the Cheswick Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, in Springdale, Pa.

The implosion of two smokestacks at a shuttered coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania went mostly as planned on Friday, but officials say an air burst caused some utility poles and power lines to come down on a nearby street, leading to power outages.

The implosion at the Cheswick Generating Station in Springdale, a borough just northeast of Pittsburgh, occurred shortly after 8 a.m., bringing the stacks down with a loud crash and a huge cloud of dust. One tower stood about 550 feet (170 meters) tall and the other 750 feet (230 meters).

No injuries were reported, but some nearby properties had minor damage that officials said was being assessed Friday afternoon. Many utility customers who lost power had their electricity restored within an hour, officials said, and customers were back online by late Friday afternoon.

The Cheswick plant stopped making power in the spring of 2022 and has since been taken over by an environmental remediation firm.

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