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Another electrical substation damaged by gunfire in North Carolina

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(NEW YORK) — Another electrical substation damaged by gunfire in North Carolina

An electrical substation in North Carolina has been damaged by gunfire, marking the third incident where a substation was damaged since November.

An EnergyUnited substation was damaged around 3 a.m. Tuesday, but there were no outages in the areas it serves: Trinity, Thomasville, and parts of Davidson County, south of Thomasville.

The FBI, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement are investigating the incident.

There are currently no known suspects or motives.

“EnergyUnited continually strives to deliver safe, reliable energy to its members,” Steve McCachern, vice president of energy delivery for the company, said in a statement. “While we are glad that our members did not experience any service interruptions, we take this matter very seriously and are currently investigating the incident.”

Company officials responded to an alarm at its Pleasant Hill substation indicating an issue with its equipment, EnergyUnited said.

This is the latest incident of an electrical substation being hit by gunfire in the state.

On Dec. 3, two Duke Energy stations in North Carolina’s Moore County were targeted by gunfire, causing about 45,000 customer outages, amid freezing temperatures in the state.

Vandals wielding firearms are suspected of having damaged the substations in the Moore County incident.

Officials found evidence of sabotage at two critical electrical substations following the massive blackout, prompting the Moore County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the incident as a “criminal occurrence” and call in the FBI to assist in the probe.

There was another incident on Nov. 11, when a Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative station in Maysville, North Carolina, was vandalized, causing 12,000 customers to go without power.

It’s not immediately clear whether these incidents are related.

Kevin Perry, retired director of critical infrastructure protection at Southwest Power Pool in Arkansas, told ABC News last month that most electrical distribution substations across the country may be vulnerable to vandalism or copper theft, but redundancies and backup systems built into power grids prevent widespread blackouts.

“Substations tend to be out in the middle of nowhere, and that means they’re, for the most part, unattended,” Perry said at the time.

ABC News’ Bill Hutchinson and Matt Foster contributed to this report.

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