Electric service to approximately 780 customers in southeast Brownwood was interrupted for several hours Tuesday, an Oncor Electric Service official said.

“A contract crew was pulling new wire, and as they were reeling up the old copper wire, a sleeve - or a splice - came apart” and came in contact with an energizer conductor, Mike Nieto, West Region manager for customer operations, said.

The power outage extended from Coggin Avenue to U.S. Highway 377, from from Fourth Street the 10th Street.

Nieto, reached in Wichita Falls, said he did not have the exact time of the outage, nor its length, but reports came in about the failure before noon.

“The main thing is that no one was injured - no employees and no contractors,” Nieto said. “We make safety our No. 1 priority. We’re always training in regard to safety as we endeavor to keep the service on.

Nieto said he had no specific information about the nature of the installation of this particular new wiring, but explained that it’s a process Oncor uses to upgrade capacity to better serve customers and to maintain reliability in growing areas. New copper wire is pulled into position by “pulling” the old wire, he said, and that was was happening when the outage occurred.

“It’s a pretty complex process,” Nieto said.

Numerous personnel were at the scene on Durham Street working to restore electrical service.