I witnessed an explosion today, or Why print media is dying


I am forty years old and today was the first time I have ever dialed the emergency 911 number.

I was driving home from my office in Colorado Springs as the rain and snow were coming down. As I approached Monument from the south, a bright light suddenly lit the foggy, rainy gloom. At first I thought somebody was shining a spotlight directly at me but I slowly realized an electrical transformer on the side of the freeway had exploded. As I headed towards the slowly diminishing chemical glare I saw a power line that crossed the roadway drop in front of me as sparks began flying on the other side of the road. There was no time to slow down or stop since I was driving at least 75 MPH and the traffic was heavy — a sudden stop would have created a fifty-car pileup during rush hour. I sped up and drove over the power line and… nothing happened. At least, nothing happened until I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw the power line burst into flames and shoot sparks onto the cars directly behind me. Whew!

I quickly called 911 and reported the issue. By the time I was driving through Monument I could see a fire engine crew heading out towards the scene of the issue. Hopefully no one else attempted to drive over the power line, although knowing how incredibly stupid people are these days I am sure many did.

So having performed my civic duty today I was interested to see if any of the local media had picked up the story and perhaps could shed some light on the cause of the explosion. CBS4 mentioned the road closure during their 6 PM newscast but had no details other than the “road is closed.” I checked the Colorado Springs Gazette and realized the reason that traditional print media is dying is because they don’t give a shit anymore. The Gazette didn’t even bother to cover the story themselves, instead handing it off to the Denver Post. Read the linked article and tell me if it is informational in any useful way. How did the power line fall on the roadway? Was it an accident or domestic terrorism? When did the roadway close, and were there any vehicle accidents or injuries?

I think it would be more reliable and accurate to get my news from a blind wombat.

UPDATE: I see the DP updated the story with a slight bit of info regarding accidents, but which “officials” did they ask for the cause of the issue? The officials I spoke to were the CSP 911 Dispatch officer and the El Paso county sheriff’s office when I called it in.

4 Replies to “I witnessed an explosion today, or Why print media is dying”

  1. WTF, indeed. I find most people that call themselves ‘reporters’ these days lack just almost every quality required to do the job well. Most of them don’t appear capable of writing coherently (or speaking coherently in the case of broadcast media) OR determining what the pertinent details are on any newsworthy event. It’s pathetic, really.

  2. It rained today in Oklahoma City and a tornado briefly traveled over the top of an unpopulated county in western Oklahoma. (No. I did not mean an unpopulated part of the county). Thus, the local news tonight consisted of 20 minutes of storm chaser stories and 10 minutes of sports. OU football starting spring practice in particular, the condition of the 3rd string quarterback’s small toe on his throwing foot, etc. So, how long until broadcast news is dead too? Not soon enough.Oh yes, I almost forgot. The local station preempted the national news so that its heroic meteorologisty guy could save the lives of all 10 people in Dewey County from what he thought looked like the dreaded radar “hook echo”.

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