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Workers in area of transformer explosion experience the scare of their lives

680's Carl Hanstke snapped a shot of the transformer station, where an explosion led to a massive blackout across Toronto.

TORONTO, Ont. – The blackout which affected approximately 250,000 residents at its peak is likely the result of a transformer station explosion in the Kipling and Dundas area, and workers in the area compared the noise to a bomb going off.

James told 680News he was just finishing up his shift at a factory down the street when he was startled by a noise he considered to be unusual.

“We saw the lights flicker and then we heard a noise that’s not from our presses, like a big boom. And that was it,” he said.

Across the street, a worker at a muffler shop described his experience.

“We were just working away, and we just heard this huge bang. And then a couple seconds later, another huge bang. It was like a bomb going off …. I was a little scared,” he said.

Flames quickly shot up into the sky, followed by a trail of big black smoke that could be seen from several kilometres away.

Firefighters managed to control the blaze very quickly.

A mechanic, also across the street, saw a man walking past the Manby Transformer Station who had the fright of his life.

“I looked outside at a big puff of smoke, and I saw … a guy actually ran away. He was pretty close to the scene,” he told 680News, “he was running.”

No one – including the passerby – was hurt in the incident.

Hydro crews have entered the station to assess damage, as well as costs.