RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Power to six buildings at RAF Lakenheath was temporarily lost Wednesday evening when a high-voltage electrical transformer went down with a loud explosion, base officials said Thursday.

The explosion heard on base a little before 6 p.m. was caused by an electrical arc from the transformer to the ground, which knocked out the power hub and spread minor electrical disruptions across the base — “like ripples through a pond of water,” said Lt. Col. Brian Murphy, commander of the 48th Civil Engineer Squadron.

A sudden failure of a transformer is relatively rare, but many affected buildings, including the Lakenheath medical facility, have backup generators to handle outages.

Murphy said the outage was a relatively minor incident, and crews on Thursday were working to restore regular power.

DODDS school official diesThe assistant superintendent for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools system’s Bavaria District died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.

Mary Ellen Riley, who had worked in the system for 20 years, was 46.

She died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, according to a release issued by DODDS-Europe. Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the chapel at Leighton Barracks in Würzburg, Germany.

Originally from Lowell, Mass., Riley began her career with DODDS in Panama in 1987. She went on to serve at Seoul High School in South Korea from 1998-2001 and Würzburg High School in Germany from 2001-2004.

Her husband, Dan, is a teacher at Würzburg Middle School. She is also survived by a daughter, Katherine; a son, Daniel; her parents, Paul and Rosemary Georges; a sister, Paula; and her paternal grandparents.

The family has requested that donations in her memory be made to: Landstuhl Fisher House CMR 402, BOX 669 APO AE 09180.

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