Congressman Says Eastlake Plant Didn't Trigger Blackout

Steven LaTourette Took Tour Of Facility Monday

EASTLAKE, Ohio - Rep. Steven LaTourette spoke out Monday against reports that an explosion at an Eastlake power plant Thursday triggered a nationwide blackout that led the investigation to Ohio and FirstEnergy.

Just hours before the blackout, fly ash from the plant covered vehicles in the area of the plant, NewsChannel5 reported.

LaTourette said there was no fire or explosion. Instead, people are confusing it with something else.
The congressman said after a two-hour tour of the facility with plant managers that he's convinced one of the generators went offline, which released steam through the roof causing fly ash to escape through a large smoke stack.

"For us to be 72 hours out and pin it on Eastlake concerned me. I'm a little sensitive to that. If that's the case, they're thousands of little black boxes here we have to investigate," LaTourette said.

As for what caused the plant to shut down, LaTourette said a transmission failure or a power overload kicked the security system into gear, tripping all the safety features.

He said it was not enough to cause a nationwide blackout.

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