Power Plant Explosion 'Sounded Like a Sonic Boom, Earthquake'

Residents from miles around heard and felt the Thursday explosion caused by a malfunctioning turbine at Georgia Power's Plant Bowen near Cartersville in Bartow County.

From Cartersville to Euharlee to Taylorsville and beyond, Bartow County residents miles around heard and felt the Thursday explosion that injured four people and damaged Plant Bowen in Bartow County.

A malfunctioning turbine caused the blast about 4 p.m., said Bartow County Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Millsap, but a full investigation is still under way, according to Georgia Power.

Company officials in a statement released late Thursday said the four units at Plant Bowen, one of the largest generating facilities in its system, are offline, pending the outcome of that investigation.

"Georgia Power is working with local first responders to ensure the safety of all employees at the facility, as well as evaluating and containing any damage to the facility," the statement says. "This incident presents no danger to the community."

While Georgia Power customers aren't expected to lose electric service, Bartow residents who live near the coal-fired plant could lose some sleep after what some describe as a loud, "scary" experience.

Here's what some area residents and Cartersville Patch Facebook fans had to say about the explosion:

Heather Quinn I live within a mile of the entrance and it shook my entire house and sounded like a sonic boom.

Brandy Reeves Our whole house shook, very scary. Kids were terrified.

Collin Freeman I live less than a mile from it. The boom shook stuff off of my table...

Kristy Mauldin-Mcalister My son was home alone, and said it shook the entire house, vibrated all the windows, and was the loudest boom he has ever heard, we live about 1/2 mile, if that, from the plant.

Lisa Jane Wood Our house shook like crazy and right after that you could hear the steam being released...

Tina Sawyer It was like a bomb went off. We thought something hit our house.

Ginny Wisnom Kimsey We live in Taylorsville. All I can tell you is that it shook the house really bad. We went outside and you could hear the stream pressure releasing (although we hear this occasionally anyway).

Britta Lane Our whole house shook! I peeked out my door and smoke was everywhere. Plant Bowen is pretty much in my backyard. Scary!

Alison Smith Guyton We are in Hunter's Landing behind elem school. The blast shook our house, like it sucked out the air from our house then it expanded back. They let off steam quite frequently over there, and that wakes me up in the night...but never like this in the 19 yrs we've lived here...

Rebecca Lynn Mimna i live on grassdale rd when it all happened it sound like thunder to me so i went back to what i was doing. then 30 minutes later i hear about plant bowen over m[y] scanner.

Brandi Dimmig Hames I live close to old Cass High & thought it was thunder too!

Beth Young Richardson Heard a very loud boom in the city of Taylorsville, I looked outside to see what had exploded. Very loud sound like steam, I couldn't believe it was the plant, it sounded so much closer.

Terry Kemp I live in aragon all our doors and windows shook a little. We looked for 5 min for what the cause was. Then heard the news.

Lynn Bates Southerland I live directly across the river from Plant Bowen and it shook the whole house, felt like an earthquake.

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