Manhole cover explosion causes drama in downtown core
London Community News
By Paul Everest/London Community News/Twitter: @PaulEverest
A number of people were startled but no one was injured when a small underground explosion caused a manhole cover to go flying at the intersection of Queens Avenue and Clarence Street Monday afternoon (June 25).
District Chief Jeff Adams of the London Fire Department said a minor fire broke out due to an electrical issue below a manhole cover at the northwest corner of the intersection just after 2 p.m.
The fire likely caused a buildup of gases that caused the manhole cover to blow off, he said, adding the fire went out itself.
“We’ve seen this before,” Adams said.
Police and fire crews blocked off the intersection to traffic while workers from London Hydro worked at the manhole to determine what happened.
Adams said the department did not evacuate any nearby buildings and fire crews stayed at the scene as a precaution for the safety of the London Hydro workers.
He added there was no power disruption to any of the surrounding buildings.
One man working in a nearby office building said he could hear the explosion from his office.
“There was a bang and the lights sputtered,” he said.
Emergency crews began reopening the intersection to traffic at about 3 p.m.
London Hydro was not immediately available for comment.