Friday, January 3, 2003

Hawaii County

Rifle shot knocks out
power in Hilo, Puna

Police are looking for leads
in the New Year's Day incident

Star-Bulletin staff

HILO >> Someone used a rifle to shoot a hole in a Big Island power line early New Year's Day, knocking out power to 6,500 customers in the Hilo and Puna areas, according to police and Hawaii Electric Light Co.

The power went out at 12:13 a.m. New Year's Day when a bullet fired in Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision severed a 69,000-volt line that transmits energy from Puna Geothermal Venture to the Helco power grid, said Helco spokesman Jay Ignacio. Power was restored by 1:01 a.m.

Customers were affected in areas around Kapoho, Paradise Park and the Waiakea Uka portion of Hilo.

Other customers along the same Puna-Hilo route were not affected because a second, parallel transmission line was not damaged, Ignacio said.

A Helco news release called the incident "foolish and reckless behavior."

Police are investigating the incident and ask anyone with information to call Officer Christopher Ragasa of the Puna Patrol at 966-5835 or the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

County of Hawaii

E-mail to City Desk


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